“Oh, this younger generation,
Duckface selfies, shallowness,
Vanity — it is no wonder
That this world is such a mess.”
Her friend receives the silly picture, and laughs:
They make fun of these types of photos all the time.
Best friends growing up: one now a pilot, the other
Still in school, working on a master’s degree.
Their mothers were best friends, too:
One was a bank teller, who raised her daughter
To believe anything was possible, even things
That had not been possible in her day —
The other was a housewife, who hid the bruises,
Even from her best friend. Her daughter learned,
As had her brother before her,
That the world is both more and less than what it seems.
That drove her to study psychology: it drove
Her brother into social work.
They knew what their father was:
They refused to let it define them.
She thinks about the pile of papers she needs to grade
As part of her teaching assistantship,
But her now distant friend’s laughing reaction
To her ridiculous selfie gives her just enough feeling
Of connection to bring a real smile to her face
And her heart.
Adult daughters of proud mothers,
Bearing now the glorious weight of so much possibility.
(Assumption – “Humanity has gradually gotten worse”.)