My name is Elizabeth; I’m sixty-four –
I was born in the forties, just after the war.
I remember rationing and waiting in file –
Nobody had cars; we used to walk for miles.
After the atrocities we thought we’d learnt a lesson –
Put social structures in place that we would never forget.
My parents voted to expand the NHS
For social security; we thought it was best
And we were all working hard towards a better world
It felt amazing – you had to be there I guess.
I was twenty in the sixties and the world seemed so huge
Even if the atom bomb was all over the news
We thought that the world was ripe to rearrange –
We’d write poetry and demonstrate and everything would change
But as I got older, the world seems so much smaller;
Connected by the internet to the most remote corner.
Now they’re telling me I’m living at the End of Days
We’re going to see irreversible climate change
And I didn’t have children; for the first time that’s okay
I don’t have much to leave them anyway.
There’s always another shooting or stabbing
People getting desperate and reckless and grabbing
ID cards, biometrics and CCTV
Safeguarding our right to be “free”..
So are we living at the End of Days?
Is it still possible to find a way through
Or will I and others like me go to our graves
As the last generation to live our lives
With the world rising boundless upon all sides –
The last generation who were not afraid
That they’d still be alive at the End of Days.