Volume 32, Number 4

Hover Cars

Now even the gray-haired greeters,
forced back to working for minimum wage
when their pensions were cut
or their health went south
are being laid off,
automated out of a job.

As I walked into the Game Stop
to buy a gift for my grandson,
I heard, loud and clear, Welcome to Game Stop!
I responded, Thank you, before I realized
it was a recording cued by the automatic door

In the ’50s and ’60s, an automated future
promised more leisure for all.
On TV, George Jetson zoomed around
in his animated hover car.

In school we foresaw an end
to our parents sweating for a living.
A life of ease lay ahead, shorter work weeks
more vacation.

But as automation gained ground
workers started exchanging one good job
for two lousy ones while their missing pay
floated to the top.

There was supposed to be less work.
There were supposed to be hover cars.

—Ed Werstein