Verse > Carl Sandburg > Chicago Poems
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Chicago Poems.  1916.
 
13. The Shovel Man
 
 
  ON the street
Slung on his shoulder is a handle half way across,
Tied in a big knot on the scoop of cast iron
Are the overalls faded from sun and rain in the ditches;
Spatter of dry clay sticking yellow on his left sleeve        5
      And a flimsy shirt open at the throat,
      I know him for a shovel man,
      A dago working for a dollar six bits a day
And a dark-eyed woman in the old country dreams of him for one of the world’s ready men with a pair of fresh lips and a kiss better than all the wild grapes that ever grew in Tuscany.
 

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