Verse > Carl Sandburg > Chicago Poems
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Chicago Poems.  1916.
142. The Red Son
I LOVE your faces I saw the many years
I drank your milk and filled my mouth
With your home talk, slept in your house
And was one of you.
            But a fire burns in my heart.        5
Under the ribs where pulses thud
And flitting between bones of skull
Is the push, the endless mysterious command,
“I leave you behind—        10
You for the little hills and the years all alike,
You with your patient cows and old houses
Protected from the rain,
I am going away and I never come back to you;
Crags and high rough places call me,        15
Great places of death
Where men go empty handed
And pass over smiling
To the star-drift on the horizon rim.
My last whisper shall be alone, unknown;        20
I shall go to the city and fight against it,
And make it give me passwords
Of luck and love, women worth dying for,
And money.
        I go where you wist not of        25
        Nor I nor any man nor woman.
        I only know I go to storms
        Grappling against things wet and naked.”
There is no pity of it and no blame.
None of us is in the wrong.        30
After all it is only this:
        You for the little hills and I go away.


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