The Terrible Teens

By Dan Rutberg, student, Hudson Valley Center–Hartsdale Unit

January 12, 2012

Those years I lived from inside out
spent trembling in the winter’s sun,
seem distant now

I hardly can recall
the race of my young heart,
the terror of being unlike the rest,
the rage of youth as we’d stampede
then settle down to homework’s tasks

In our innocence we believed
our generation was different from the rest,
and for a brief moment in time
we made “peace on earth”
and felt one with humanity,
inside the safety of our parent’s nest

As time passed, we left
to roam the country side,
running from or searching for ourselves
while our brothers and our neighbor’s sons
roamed the jungles,
sworn to protect a sacred trust,
“God and Country”
I remember when
those words were a just call to arms

Both armies, those in jungle boots
and those barefoot in bell-bottom jeans,
took casualties
from friendly fire and their enemies
some crashed and burned,
some wear the scars today
those terrible times, those terrible years

And now well past
the age as teens, we swore we’d never trust
I live this life from the outside in
and watch my two sons grow

I try to filter out
those times of tumult we lived through
so I can clearly see
the race of their young hearts,
the terror of being unlike the rest,
the rage of youth as they stampede
then settle down to homework’s tasks,
inside the safety of their parent’s nest


Dan Rutberg

Dan Rutberg

Other work by Rutberg:

A Late Walk Home

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