Return - 1917

Stephen Vincent Benet

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"The College will reopen Sept. --."

I was just aiming at the jagged hole
Torn in the yellow sandbags of their trench,
When something threw me sideways with a wrench,
And the skies seemed to shrivel like a scroll
And disappear . . . and propped against the bole
Of a big elm I lay, and watched the clouds
Float through the blue, deep sky in speckless crowds,
And I was clean again, and young, and whole.

Lord, what a dream that was! And what a doze
Waiting for Bill to come along to class!
I've cut it now -- and he -- Oh, hello, Fred!
Why, what's the matter? -- here -- don't be an ass,
Sit down and tell me! -- What do you suppose?
I dreamed I . . . am I . . . wounded? "You are dead."

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