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  • DoughboysPhotograph c. 1917
  • R. L. Barth (bio)

          —found among my grandfather's papers

Around a folded blanket seven doughboysIntently watch the dice turn six the hard way.Like pre-noir tough guys, three or four clutch sawbucksHalf curled, ready to shell out or increaseA conscript private's base pay. One, raffish,Tilts his campaign hat like an old salt.All seven would shame Bogart with the angleOf dangling cigarettes and arched eyebrows.But they're not tough guys, just heartbreakers all,Stunning the viewer with impossible youth. [End Page 181]

R. L. Barth

R. L. Barth is the author of Deeply Dug In: Poems and is the editor of The Selected Letters of Yvor Winters.



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