These kids.

These beautiful, incandescent kids

Floating from grad party to grad party 

In bright dresses, pale shirts,

Cowboy boots, and sneakers.

Lightning bugs in their element,

flickering among the tree-lined, sloping lawns.

Fire flies from their mouths

In arcs of energy,

Crackling while they sip soda, crunch crackers and chat

— about fashion, gaming, senior trips, and the beach —

One final, carefree summer,

While on the horizon, shimmering and soon:

Medicine. Engineering. Economics. Design.

A glittering nebulae of promise

drifting in the space between now and later.

Truly the brightest, most beautiful,

Highly-nuanced, and oh-so-noble group

of students I’ve taught in a generation.

They work hard, dream big, take no prisoners

And still play nice. They are Wunderkinds,

These mid-May lanterns

Bobbing, breezy and effortless, and

Soon to scatter the planet as stars. 

Their souls stoked with passion,

Their brains hardwired for change; but also

(thank God for the also),

Hearts breathlessly buoyed in goodness.

And in light.