Of the 60’s, all I recall are its cartoon reruns in the 70’s,
namely The Jetsons. I watched that kooky, space-age

surrogate family in my underwear, my brother and I eating
Funyons for breakfast sprawled on the carpet of our ground-

level apartment while Mom worked the opening shift at
Things, Things & Things. That fantasy world revealed

nothing of the world we lived in. Tidy, presentable parents.
A dopey, anthropormorphic dog called Astro. A home where

many rooms existed behind many walls. Nevermind the obvious―
holographic phones, cars that zipped like planes, robots,

meals like vitamins, condensed into a single pill. Suspended
above earth, there were no trees or birds, sun or moon,

the green of a plush lawn one could step onto from an open
window and track like a thick shag― nothing to indicate

a place of origin; every living scenario stilted and domed,
positioned in the antiseptic serenity of a cirrus-feathered sky.

If this was the future we were watching from the past, then
hands-down I’d trade the present. George never left one night

never to return. June didn’t come home some mornings reeking
of smoke and stale booze; beneath her tufted bed-head the mascara-

smudge of Saturn’s rings. Judy and Elroy never fought over
the last sugar sandwich, who was going to steal the next

candy bar. Never a parent unavailable to sooth a child sobbing
in bed. Although, at times, the kids complained and the parents

squabbled, the constructed dynamic of their relationships was
always a palliative rinse. And that’s why I liked that Hanna-

Barbera show― beneath the obligatory turmoil, their lives
seemed balanced, uncomplicated. Problems that arose didn’t

feel “problematic”. Merely annoyances, silly insecurities, petty
misunderstandings my brother and I snickered at always resolved
by episode’s end.

Tony Tracy is the author of two collections of poetry: The Christening, and Without Notice. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Poetry East, Briar Cliff Review, Rattle, and many other magazines and journals. He recently had work nominated for a Pushcart Prize.