Youth’s a stuff

by John Boland

Girls I once loved
in this little city
of sexual intrigue

now are married
somewhere out there
among the suburbs.

It was only yesterday
we dawdled for hours
along the Leinster Road

or perched on stools
in dimly-lit bars
on Pembroke Street.

Today I walked
up Grafton Street
and saw how, overnight,

a whole generation
had suddenly turned over.
This evening I lecture

to young Americans,
not the faintest blemish
on those sun-kissed limbs,

their bright smiles
and their wide eyes
stirring vague yearnings.

I feel I know them all,
and am faintly surprised
they don’t know me.

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