Adler, Philip A. (ed.) / Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XVII, Number 4 (January 1918)
Gessler, Clifford F.
Back there, p. 89
WISCONSIN LITER A RV A A rm A I Ir, had again been refused the permisison to send for the Frankish doctor. "At sunset he came back again. He was shaking with a terrible fear-afraid, so afraid. The couch upon which she had lain was tumbled and empty. His eyes swept the empty, dull-lighted room. Then rested upon her body, lying on the floor. He knew that the worst had happened, and knelt beside her calling 'Love of Life, Love of Life!' But she lay softly, as if dreaming. Perhaps the Franks could have saved her, and he cried out against the superstition of his people. In the middle of his sorrow, he leaped to his feet and shouted, 'Allah, it is the sign!' For the dead body lay with one arm outflung towards the latticed window, and through the window came the light of the v ~r 11 Ul - A1 1J fin 89 setting sun. And the sun sets in the west. Do you see? It was his answer. Her body, which might have lived, but for the superstition of her people, now lay like an arrow to point the way he should take and follow. It was not the journey to Mekka which he should take. It was the long long journey to the land of the infidel. "In a passion against the ways of his people, he thrust his fist thru the delicate lattice of the window, and let the light stream thru upon her body-and I myself have seen this window, which Avet broke. But you have seen the ending of it all-Avet Pasha, the greatest product of modern Turkey." ESTHER FORBES. Back There i wonder what they're saying now about us, over there,- The folks of my home town, back there in Smithville? I think about it, when the shrapnel, cutting all the air, Strikes down my comrades who have come from homes like mine Back there across the sea, in quiet Smithville. The fields are yellow with the gold of harvest time,- They're binding up the grain, just out of Smithville. I can hear the farmers calling to their horses, and the chime Of the village clock, and lowing of the cattle by the stream Where the road leads through the fields to peaceful Smithville. The village girls go chatting down the dusty, shaded street; The gossips lean across the fence, in Smithville; Boys patter down the sidewalk with bare and dusty feet, And the loafers pitch their horseshoes by the railroad track Or sit and talk about the war, in Smithville. I wonder, if to-morrow's fight should lay me with the dead, How soon they would forget me, there in Smithville? For everything's so quiet there, when here 'tis all so red.- But there's a gray-haired woman there, would weep her eyes away,- There's someone knows there is a war, in Smithville! -CLIFFORD F. GESSLER. January, 1918
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