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Blue Maroons

by Carl Sandburg, 1920

“You slut,” he flung at her.
 It was more than a hundred times
 He had thrown it into her face
 And by this time it meant nothing to her.
 She said to herself upstairs sweeping,
 “Clocks are to tell time with, pitchers
 Hold milk, spoons dip out gravy, and a
 Coffee pot keeps the respect of those
 Who drink coffee—I am a woman whose
 Husband gives her a kiss once for ten
 Times he throws it in my face, ‘You slut.’
 If I go to a small town and him along
 Or if I go to a big city and him along.
 What of it? Am I better off?” She swept
 The upstairs and came downstairs to fix
 Dinner for the family.

Published in Smoke and Steel

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