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Chicago Poet

by Carl Sandburg, 1918

I saluted a nobody.
 I saw him in a looking-glass.
 He smiled—so did I.
 He crumpled the skin on his forehead,
   frowning—so did I.
 Everything I did he did.
 I said, “Hello, I know you.”
 And I was a liar to say so.

 Ah, this looking-glass man!
 Liar, fool, dreamer, play-actor,
 Soldier, dusty drinker of dust—
 Ah! he will go with me
 Down the dark stairway
 When nobody else is looking,
 When everybody else is gone.

 He locks his elbow in mine,
 I lose all—but not him.

Published in Cornhuskers

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