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"Death of the Hired Hand"

http://www.ncsd.k12.pa.us/pssa/Reading/deathtxt.htm

It has stuck with me since we read it my senior year of high school. I guess it has prodigal son aspects, and the reference to three (the moon, the cloud, and Mary) probably has some significance. It has been so long since I used my brain it is kind of hard to analyse a poem now, though I was an English major in college.

A couple of years after I read it I was driving home after making the rounds at the bars (I was just 19 then, young and stupid) and crash into an interstate overpass, car turned around and hit the other side of the overpass head on. Nobody else involved, I by some miracle escaped unscathed (when my friends saw the totalled car they were amazed I wasn't dead) and I remember my parents coming to pick me up at the hospital and me feeling a centimeter tall.

So that line always stuck with me: "Home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in."
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