Words removed by the OED in 2030: 1. Mystery by Vic Pickup (Lucent Dreaming Issue 8)

  1. Mystery

She was seductive, spectre-like. There,
or maybe not. She’d like to keep them
guessing, laughing from beyond the ether.
But now she lies still in her grave,
the growth of her hair slowing by the day.

Our children’s eyes will not grow wide
reading books about the Turin shroud,
Bermuda triangle, birth of Jesus.
All the answers are there, in sans-serif.
Our children’s children will have to ask

Siri what a ‘mystery’ was. Christianity
will have died – people are already laughing
and not being struck by lightning bolts.
The shipwrecks will be raised, canals dredged,
caves excavated with sonar, drones mapping

the edges of the universe. There will be no
antiques. Those that exist will snuggle into
their insurance policies, cossetted by deeds
and wills in bank vaults. Surprise windfalls
will be unheard of, we know what everything

is worth. Atlantis will be found, the Ripper
identified. Scientists will have explained
Stonehenge, poltergeist activity, rubbished
Nessie. Camera film and reels of negatives
join the archives as we settle for fifty versions

of the same picture, hovering over our heads
in some omniscient, heavy cloud that never
gives rain, but might one day just blow away
with all that’s in it. The Tooth Fairy and
Father Christmas still have a bit of life left

for a new phone, drone, watch, upgrade
of the chip behind the ear. But the kids laugh
when they hear we used to write letters
to the North Pole. Alexa already told them,
it’s minus sixty there.

Vic Pickup hails from North-Hampshire and has always loved playing with words. A previous winner of the Café Writers and Cupid’s Arrow Competitions, in 2019 Vic was shortlisted for the National Poetry Day #speakyourtruth contest on YouTube. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies and magazines, including Mslexia, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Poetry Village and Reach Poetry. A keen reviewer, Vic writes for Sphinx and Everybody’s Reviewing, she’s also a regular on BBC Berkshire’s bookclub. Her debut pamphlet, Lost & Found, will be published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press this winter.
@vicpickup | vicpickup.com
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