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Going Back to School

by
 The boat ploughed on.
Now Alcatraz was past And all the grey waves flamed to red again At the dead sun's last glimmer.
Far and vast The Sausalito lights burned suddenly In little dots and clumps, as if a pen Had scrawled vague lines of gold across the hills; The sky was like a cup some rare wine fills, And stars came as he watched -- and he was free One splendid instant -- back in the great room, Curled in a chair with all of them beside And the whole world a rush of happy voices, With laughter beating in a clamorous tide.
.
.
.
Saw once again the heat of harvest fume Up to the empty sky in threads like glass, And ran, and was a part of what rejoices In thunderous nights of rain; lay in the grass Sun-baked and tired, looking through a maze Of tiny stems into a new green world; Once more knew eves of perfume, days ablaze With clear, dry heat on the brown, rolling fields; Shuddered with fearful ecstasy in bed Over a book of knights and bloody shields .
.
.
The ship slowed, jarred and stopped.
There, straight ahead, Were dock and fellows.
Stumbling, he was whirled Out and away to meet them -- and his back Slumped to the old half-cringe, his hands fell slack; A big boy's arm went round him -- and a twist Sent shattering pain along his tortured wrist, As a voice cried, a bloated voice and fat, "Why it's Miss Nancy! Come along, you rat!"

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