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Subway Wind

by Claude McKay, 1922

Far down, down through the city's great, gaunt gut
  The gray train rushing bears the weary wind;
In the packed cars the fans the crowd's breath cut,
  Leaving the sick and heavy air behind.
And pale-cheeked children seek the upper door
  To give their summer jackets to the breeze;
Their laugh is swallowed in the deafening roar
  Of captive wind that moans for fields and seas;
Seas cooling warm where native schooners drift
  Through sleepy waters,while gulls wheel and sweep,
Waiting for windy waves the keels to lift
  Lightly among the islands of the deep;
Islands of lofty palm trees blooming white
  That lend their perfume to the tropic sea,
Where fields lie idle in the dew drenched night,
  And the Trades float above them fresh and free.

Published in Harlem Shadows

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