Gifting the Graduate

The go-to gift for the 1950's college grad
Was a briefcase (cowhide or calfskin)
With monogrammed initials
To distinguish one from another,
And, perhaps, a Parker Pen, a pad of paper
And a copy of Time...
Ready to start an office life.
It was the time of galoshes and rubbers,
Of hats with brims
And rain covers for them with elastic edges,
Which are as outdated now as razored scalps are in.
And the briefcase, too, has morphed
Into a casual, cloth backpack
With pockets for a laptop,
A water bottle, energy bars and trail mix,
But no room for a newspaper,
Since newspapers are now paperless on laptops,
Along with every shard of fiction or fact
That has ever been found on planet Earth,
As well as movies and plays and concerts.
But, pandemically, we might become Generation Remote,
The generation of vast, empty auditoria...
The brontosauruses of the 2020s...
As defunct as UNIVAC and ashtrays,
Since Zoom brings us, addictively, to meetings
And cable streams vast riches of cultural activities
Without leaving home.