“Kids These Days”

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A poetry selection from Litmag 2017

“Kids These Days,” by Liane Kee, Senior


They stormed school halls in twos and threes

In scuffed-up Chucks and Vans,

Colloquial profanities

And smartphones in their hands.

The grown-ups clucked their tongues in scorn,

And shook their graying heads.

A turn of phrase, now old and worn:

“Kids these days,” they said.

With powdered cheeks and pompadours

And cigarettes outside,

They blasted Elvis through their doors,

Read Ginsburg on the sly.

“Their moms and pops fought in the war, But they rebel instead!”

Their grandmas frowned and sighed once more,

“Kids these days,” they said.

Loosened hair tangles in a breeze Girls’ lengthy skirts aloft

The adults alike gasp when they see

Their ankles and their socks.

“Young ladies shouldn’t be so wild If they, one day, will wed!”

Not once did father crack a smile,

“Kids these days,” he said.

The peasants’ kids sang borrowed tunes For long days’ work was done.

The kingdom slept beneath the moon–

They clamored for the sun.

“Who puts the food into their mouths, And packs dirt for their beds?”

Frowning at their distant shouts,

“Kids these days,” they said.

Neanderthal adults just sighed

At the prints splashed on their walls.

Handprints and figures stained the sides Of their hand-carved, pristine cave halls.

Their teenagers painted away Filling their parents with dread.

But without the words, what’d they say?

“Oog boog ugg,” they said.

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