Poetry Tuesday: Young Girls

Raymond Souster passed away recently at the age of 92, one of Toronto’s most beloved poets, compared to Henri Cartier-Bresson: “. . . inscribing small pieces of space and time on the memory, catching a moment as it flies.” And he’s obviously a keen observer of human nature, considering his poem “Young Girls.”

With night full of spring and stars we stand
here in this dark doorway and watch the young
girls pass, two, three together, hand in hand.
They are like flowers whose fragrance hasn’t sprung
or awakened, whose bodies now dimly feel
the flooding, upward welling of the trees;
whose senses, caressed by the wind’s soft fingers, reel
with a mild delirium that makes them ill at ease

They lie awake at night, unable to sleep,
then walk the streets, kindled by strange desires;
they steal lightning glances at us, unable to keep
control upon those subterranean fires.
We whistle after them, then laugh, for they
stiffen, not knowing what to do or say


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