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Buffalo Bill

by Carl Sandburg, 1918

Boy heart of Johnny Jones—aching to-day?
 Aching, and Buffalo Bill in town?
 Buffalo Bill and ponies, cowboys, Indians?

 Some of us know
 All about it, Johnny Jones.

 Buffalo Bill is a slanting look of the eyes,
   A slanting look under a hat on a horse.
 He sits on a horse and a passing look is fixed
   On Johnny Jones, you and me, barelegged,
 A slanting, passing, careless look under a hat on a horse.

 Go clickety-clack, O pony hoofs along the street.
 Come on and slant your eyes again, O Buffalo Bill.
 Give us again the ache of our boy hearts.
 Fill us again with the red love of prairies, dark nights, lonely wagons, and the crack-crack of rifles sputtering flashes into an ambush.

Published in Cornhuskers

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