Verse > Carl Sandburg > Cornhuskers
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Cornhuskers.  1918.
 
98. Out of White Lips
 
 
OUT of white lips a question: Shall seven million dead ask for their blood a little land for the living wives and children, a little land for the living brothers and sisters?
 
Out of white lips:—Shall they have only air that sweeps round the earth for breath of their nostrils and no footing on the dirt of the earth for their battle-drabbed, battle-soaked shoes?
 
Out of white lips:—Is the red in the flag the blood of a free man on a piece of land his own or is it the red of a sheep slit in the throat for mutton?
 
Out of white lips a white pain murmurs: Who shall have land? Him who has stood ankle deep in the blood of his comrades, in the red trenches dug in the land?
 

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