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“Pick up a dozen eggs, one gallon of skim milk, and peanut butter”

No one knew what they meant,
the penmarks.
They were not illiterate,
it’s just that the note was written
in a forgotten script,
one which had been swallowed by
oceans of history.

They took the bit of paper
to queens and kings,
hoping to decipher the writing.
It could hold the key to a long-lost lock:
the civilization of Earth-that-once-was.
But the queens were clueless,
as were their husbands.

They took the scrap of vellum to elders and priests,
thinking the creators of ancient manuscripts
could read the secrets of the ink.
They too, failed to illuminate the clues.

They built translating machines
to analyze the strings of symbols.
These supercomputers overheated
before they could decode the first word.

People searched far and wide
for someone to crack the cipher,
which they believed may contain
the secret of immortal life
or a world
without that one thing
that keeps it from being perfect.

Either way, happiness was
just a stone’s throw away for those
who could translate the wisdom
of a piece of paper.

Folks sought their Rosetta’s stone
in the unlikeliest of places.
However, she was nowhere to be found.

AFTERWORD: This was written in response to a quote I read re: the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Someone thought it would be a great idea if we would decimate the entire Middle East in response.

Luckily the parchment in this piece is as harmless as a a list of wants and desires from the supermarket. Because that’s what it is: a grocery list.

But what if only one sentence makes it to our future selves? If only one tweet, or text message, or Facebook status update survives the test of time, what would you want it to say?

Should the statement that they remember us by to be one of hate? What if they know our generation only as “The Age of Violence?”

We’re all floating on this spinning rock in space that’s already headed in a crash course with the sun’s orbit. Can we not wait for Armageddon to come? Do we have to speed it up by fighting amongst ourselves for the sake of honor, or dignity, or prestige?

How do you want us, the human people, to be remembered?
What will you do to make that happen?

3 thoughts on “The last surviving sentence of 21st century man/womankind.

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