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  Farewell to Coe

-Ruth Kirkpatrick (reprinted in Courier, later 1940 or early 1941

You say it doesn't mean a thing to you?
Nothing at all?-these buildings, trees-
The very paths we walk on?
You aren't a Senior then.
You couldn't be.
For us, the very grass, the vines,
Those lilacs over there
Have meaning.
They’ve told us every year,
"You're young yet;
You're just beginning something new."
You can't forget
The way they make you feel.
And other things-
The way the grass would always smell like fresh-cut hay
When first they mowed it in the spring;
The way it prickled
When we lay-forbidden-on it.
And the vines
That tapped our windows now and then
Like friendly hands
Which beckoned us-or warned us
When they beat our windows in a storm.
And the lilacs whose first blooms
Announced to us that spring had come,
And life and love were new again.
These things we will remember.
These things we'll tell our children,
As I was told of little things-
The way the steps at Williston
Took all your breath away;
How Science Hall was built;
The way the river looked on Flunk Day,--
Memories like that we'll pass along to others;
And they'll come here and live to pass on
Other memories.
That's why the words,
"That's Coe, my alma mater,"
Have a meaning.
Coe's part of us,
A part we can't forget,
For memories-our memories-
Will stay with us forever.
We hate to break away-
To make of all these things
Mere memories;
And yet we must.
You take our places-
Carry on.
We ask you as we face about
To meet the world
And say goodbye to Coe.                 


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Coe College
1220 1st Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402