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Poem in response to Sustainable Cities and Communities
November 2018

Time Machine

By Grace Muresan

I used to dream of flying cars and spaceships way up high

And clear skies of spotless blue and animals roaming free

But now that I am grown up I know this is a lie.

Because with economic growth there always comes a fee.


But what if once upon a time we had another chance?

If somewhere far in the future, there was a way to go back?

And we could see our every mistake at a single glance,

Like a child’s first-ever failure video on playback.


Then we would really understand the consequences of what we did

And we could tell our past selves not to make the same mistake.

We’d take us to the future where it’s planned out on a grid,

And see the tense choices of everyone put everything at stake.


But they’d know how to reuse trash and re-freeze the North and South poles.

More kids would live to adulthood and less animals would die.

And maybe we would finally hold the world’s controls

But on the rest of the universe, what would that imply?


The population of the earth would pile to the sky

We’d have to find a way to live on Mars

Because of humans’ oversupply

And with the dying resources innovation reaches the stars.


But if we went without the sight

And lived on in the dark, unknowing

Would our resources ever unite,

Or would we be trapped in the past, foreboding?


What I see in 50 years is clogged skies and rivers

Not a single thing is moving as far as we can see

And a main capitalist government has the world caught in its scissors.

There is no way to get away, the toxic slush has plugged the sea.


I wish we had a second chance in the form of a time machine

Maybe we could fix our ways and heal the gaps united

But I can see only one real way to stop the awful death routine

We need the failing system’s work to be sighted.

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