Nostradamus in Hempstead

Nostradamus in Hempstead
MauritsBurgers

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Nostradamus in Hempstead

When Life published that cover photograph
I still can see—white asparagus sprouting
from an open gantry, and the letters
THE SOARING SIXTIES stenciled above the stalk—
how could I not envision every era
of my new future?  I alliterated
all them out—

                          The Swinging Seventies;
The Eating Eighties; and the Naughty Nineties—
shadowing, with nothing but my language
as my lantern, Saturday Night Fever;
Greed Is Good; and Monica Lewinsky.

Yet I stopped before I got to where
I am now—probably because I couldn’t
imagine this age, older than my already
old father was in 1959.
So this millennium’s decade has remained
a mystery, an opera in which all
blood must be music in its own sweet time.
Let’s call it history.  The Haughty Aughts—
where nothing could surprise us anymore
except to see a black face on our money.
God’s on our side.  The Bible’s not in French.
Even the Amish are wearing Nikes now.