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Carl Sandburg

Child of the Romans

The dago shovelman sits by the railroad track
Eating a noon meal of bread and bologna.
          A train whirls by, and men and women at tables
          Alive with red roses and yellow jonquils,
          Eat steaks running with brown gravy,
          Strawberries and cream, eclairs and coffee.
The dago shovelman finishes the dry bread and bologna,
Washes it down with a dipper from the water-boy,
And goes back to the second half of a ten-hour day's work.
Keeping the road-bed so the roses and jonquils
Shake hardly at all in the cut glass vases
Standing slender on the tables in the dining cars.



Sandburg, Carl. Chicago Poems. New York, N.Y.: Henry Holt, 1916.