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She awoke
they stopped at the roadside café
for coffee
she loved such stops
such resting places
the half-way point
to her college.
Here she smoked
and stretched
and felt
the delicious feeling
of no responsibility
save to study
get passing grades
and behave
for this
her wealthy father paid the way.
It was her time
to play fun and games
to flirt with young professors,
half-in-bed, half-outside
join groups and clubs
and speak her mind vociferously.
Just for the token payment of study
freedom was bestowed:
the impulse
was allowed to come knocking at her door
rush away
no need to study any more
do the forbidden thing
skip class
run from your friends
sneak away with him
in the direction
of anywhere.
Gosh everyone has their fame
Hers is her beauty and fine clothes
and daddy's payroll.
She stretched once more
sipped her last drop of coffee
went back to the car
cuddled up into the back seat
and went back to sleep.
The entire college
is in
on her conspiracy
All are publishing
and staying good
immersing in ideas
bathing in adolescent-curiosity,
animated by all these
young gods
who enter
and bring everlasting promise.
She who is beautiful
understands her purpose
and place very well
Her sleep is restful
she has been born
to the right time
and place.

Irwin R. Shaw - December 20th 1987