By now, we thought, our cities on the Moon,
Would thrive and outshine those on tired Earth.
Venusian swamps and canal’d Mars would soon
Be settled by our square-jawed men of worth.
By now this Earth would freeze in nuclear frost;
Our cities radiant, mutant-spawning hells.
Or maybe trash and smog polluted most,
And left us coughing acrid nasty smells.
By now the aliens would have found us here,
Enslaved and killed us, treated us like sheep.
Or stopped our wars and rid us of our fear,
And showed us myst’ries both profound and deep.
But when I said it happened, your head shook.
I’ve seen those worlds, I’ve lived those lives.
(April 23rd is World Book Day (though it is not celebrated on this date in the UK, due to it being the day of St George). Since it’s also the birth- and deathday of William Shakespeare, I thought I’d write a sonnet.)