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

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Killers

Carl Sandburg

     I am singing to you
Soft as a man with a dead child speaks;
Hard as a man in handcuffs,
Held where he cannot move:

     Under the sun
Are sixteen million men,
Chosen for shining teeth,
Sharp eyes, hard legs,
And a running of young warm blood in their wrists.

     And a red juice runs on the green grass;
And a red juice soaks the dark soil.
And the sixteen million are killing. . . and killing
          and killing.

     I never forget them day or night:
They beat on my head for memory of them;
They pound on my heart and I cry back to them,
To their homes and women, dreams and games.

     I wake in the night and smell the trenches,
And hear the low stir of sleepers in lines--
Sixteen million sleepers and pickets in the dark:
Some of them long sleepers for always,

Some of them tumbling to sleep to-morrow for always,
Fixed in the drag of the world's heartbreak,
Eating and drinking, toiling. . . on a long job of
          killing.
Sixteen million men.

Added: 16 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 23 May 2017 8:28 PM | Viewed: 7351 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4704/ | Viewed on 23 May 2017.
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