The Glass Youth

Laila Kennedy

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These are the best years of our lives

But don’t you know, you’ll reap what you sow?

For us, the joy of being young has yet to arrive


We cannot relate to your sentimental prime

Golden days like ocean waves,

Ebb and flow gently through time

Unbound, uncaged, like birds flying free

With memories to cherish of your days wild and careless

The age of adventure, growth, and learning who you’ll be


Bittersweet stories may fade, softly

Your life’s glisten turned into our ambition

How we covet your melancholy


The age of adventure and growth has rearranged,

In a new nation of strict education

The nature of adolescence warped and changed


The pressure of perfection slashing students like a blade

Do your clubs, APs, applications, SATs

Giggling children mutate into test scores and grades

Drowning, slowly, under anxiety’s tumultuous seas

We learn to strangle inside eight poison Ivys’ tangles

Stretched rubber bands snap just to succeed


Legs crumbling under the mountain on our shoulders

This is fine, we shouldn’t whine

We’ll understand when we’re older

Blooming flowers wither when strain takes its toll

Sisyphean ambition implodes into oblivion

When the brightest stars burn out, what was your role?


The glass youth stress ‘til they shatter

Students with focus neglect life’s sweet roses

Life is a book, read chapter by chapter

Break the chains of competition away

Can’t we remember when we were free, living life as it should be?

Without stress smothering us morning, night, and day


We want your glowing, unrestrained sunrise

We want to reminisce about the years that we’ll miss

We want to say these are the best years of our lives

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The Glass Youth