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Gilman, James W. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XIX, Number 5 (March 1920)

O'Meara, Walter
The girls talk,   p. 118


Page 118

WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE
stood back from the heat of the flames creep closer
again, and watch the lighting of a new heap.
Finally all have been burned and nothing remains
but a glowing crimson strip along the curb. Now and
then a few leaves burst into a quick flame, but they
fade out and leave only a curl of gray smoke floating
in the air.
Nine o'clock strikes; one by one the children slip
away, until all is still and nothing is left but a heap
of dead white ashes beneath a cold white moon. The
wind hums among the dry branches. It is almost
Hallowe'en . .
WALTER K. SCHWINN.
THE GIRL.
THE girl lay in a hammock under an apple
tree-waiting for the water to heat for the dish-
washing. It was summer twilght. As she lay
there, she dreamed-and always the dream was the
same
A voice spoke to her-"Come, Girl, come with me."
"But who are you-where shall I go?"
"I - why I am the Dream Spirit - but come
come-
The voice faded, and the girl followed lest it should
disappear. Ahead of her swift feet she heard it-
"Come, Girl, come!" On she went, thru familiar
fields and into unknown woods-on and on-always
with the guiding voice ahead-"Come!"
Suddenly the voice stopped drawing away-it
seemed close to her-she looked around.
She stood among the pine trees bordering a small
clearing. About fifty rods in fronts of her was a
small, clear blue lake, on the edge ,of which was up-
turned a slim green canoe. A small cabin, containing
(as she discovered quickly) many books-some fami-
liar and some new to her-books everywhere. Noth-
ing of startling interest was there-only the shining
water and the trees-and the books. Yet-
"This, Girl, is your place.-Come as often as you
can-don't forget that this belongs to you-only you.
For you it was created-yours it will always be -For,
Girl-it is you!"
The girl lay under a pine tree beside the lake,
dreaming still-
"Jo, the dishwater is boiling all over the floor-
and incidentally you have no monopoly on the ham-
mockl"
CAROL HUBBARD.
THE GIRLS TALK
I
The Thirtieth named its machine-guns-
Fannie, and Sue, and Nell;
Painted in neat white letters
Elisabeth, Marilyn, Belle.
Sweethearts in Iowa and Kansas,
Girls in Duluth and Lead,
Sleepy gray towns and the cities-
Innocence, charm, and speed.
So the Thirtieth christened its pieces,
And Corporal Dopey McVeigh
Blushed like a girl 'neath his freckles
And christened his Mary O'Day.
II.
They tell of the fight at the bridgehead,
Of Fogarty, Harris, and Kuhn;
And the crosses awry by the river
Witness the work was done.
They tell how the "girlies" chattered
With hardly a stop for breath,
Woman-like, purring, and sweetly-
And every syllable death.
They tell of a bridge and a pivot,
A still, huddled group of dead,
A jammed gun stenciled "Mary"-
And a river running red.
III
Oh, the moonlight's cruel in Argonne wood,
And the moonlight's fair at home;
Its glow is soft on slender throats
And cold on new-turned loam.
Miss Mary O'Day danced divinely.
About seven shimmies from dawn
The sleepy-eyed Swede with the 'cello
Heard her say as she stifled a yawn:
"Joe, remember that guy in the stockroom-
The boys called him 'Dopey', I think;
Queer duck we were all the time kidding--
Well, Lu says he's been killed, poor gink!"
WALTER O'MEARA.
118
March 1920


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