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Read more poems by Carl Sandburg: Carl Sandburg Poems at Poetry X.

More poems by Carl SandburgCarl Sandburg | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Carl SandburgBooks by Carl Sandburg

'Boes

Carl Sandburg

I waited today for a freight train to pass.
Cattle cars with steers butting their horns against the
     bars, went by.
And a half a dozen hoboes stood on bumpers between
     cars.
Well, the cattle are respectable, I thought.
Every steer has its transportation paid for by the farmer
     sending it to market,
While the hoboes are law-breakers in riding a railroad
     train without a ticket.
It reminded me of ten days I spent in the Allegheny
     County jail in Pittsburgh.
I got ten days even though I was a veteran of the
     Spanish-American war.
Cooped in the same cell with me was an old man, a
     bricklayer and a booze-fighter.
But it just happened he, too, was a veteran soldier, and
     he had fought to preserve the Union and free the
     niggers.
We were three in all, the other being a Lithuanian who
     got drunk on pay day at the steel works and got to
     fighting a policeman;
All the clothes he had was a shirt, pants and shoes--
     somebody got his hat and coat and what money he
     had left over when he got drunk.

Added: 16 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 25 May 2017 1:04 AM | Viewed: 8762 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4654/ | Viewed on 25 May 2017.
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