We were told more technology would mean less work.
We were told we needed college; told the loan debt was a necessary evil.
We were told to look for dream jobs; told long hours and little pay can be a necessary sacrifice.
We were lied to.
We know it.
We’re told “that’s just the way things are”
which is what all those who want to change the world are told.
We are called entitled
as we lower the ceilings of our dreams
to a small house to call our own;
a few dollars of a paycheck we can keep,
maybe get something for ourselves for once,
not much, like a book or a coffee, something to enjoy
until the voice of regret tells us that money always has more important uses.
But our pay is instantly half earmarked,
sent to companies full of people we’ve never met,
though it’s not their fault, many of them struggling too.
They didn’t make the decisions that led to the downsizing of our dreams
but we’d like to know who did, or what did, and you laugh at our questions
from the comfort of your paid-off house and your secure job,
your job you got right out of high school when you shook the manager’s hand,
so you don’t understand why it’s not that easy anymore,
or you don’t want to
because it’s easier to say a generation is selfish.
It’s far less terrifying than admitting that maybe you managed to snap up a portion of that American dream
but left none behind
for your children who see nothing but the dollar signs if they think of children of their own
but they’ll try some cats, or a dog, something to care for still,
something still left too often behind
in a house too scarcely enjoyed
by those struggling to pay for it.