Anticipating the end of the world


In 1964, I had just turned seven,
hardly old enough to watch
The Huntley-Brinkley Report.

But somehow, somewhere,
I got it in my head that the world
was going to end.
And this doomsday deadline held
my crystal ball gaze for days.

I remember kneeling in the middle
of the double bed I shared with my sister,
pleading with God to delay
the end of the world.

I hadn’t learned to ride a two-wheeler.
Hadn’t made my First Communion.
Hadn’t read all the chapter books in the library.

Every day for a week,
my prayers became more insistent
as I anticipated my final days on Earth.
I told no one out of fear and hope.

Then I remember sitting in class
and it began to snow.  I thought, this is it.
This is the day. Only it wasn’t,
and I went home on the bus.

Tonight, I googled doomsday predictions,
and learned that psychic Jean Dixon
often predicted the end of the world
in the early 1960s.

And so, this is how the world goes on,
somehow, some way.
The children pray for us all.