Poems of the Week

Saturation, Satisfaction

by Julia Griffin

For Mary

“Everyone in Japan will be called Sato by 2531 unless marriage law changed, says professor”
The Guardian

Japan in the year 2531:
We’d require a squadron of seers
To fill us in on what will have been done
In five hundred and seven-odd years;

Hokkaido’s snows may have long since fried,
What with whole new kinds of polluter,
And all the rich may be living inside
An animate supercomputer;

And the only faith may be servitude,
And the sky may be hued like a peony,
And all may die that need air and food,
Since it’s likely there will not be any …

Or maybe, instead, we’ll have managed to solve
The problems that now so bemire us,
And we’ll find the perfect way to evolve,
Which won’t be found by a virus,

And the world (including Japan) won’t be
So heated and angry and trashy,
Even if this does cost, as a fee,
Every Ito and every Hayashi,

And our successors, grown kind and wise,
Will simply say Arigato!
For that brave new world, where nobody dies,
And everyone’s name is Sato.