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Near Keokuk

by Carl Sandburg, 1918

Thirty-two Greeks are dipping their feet in a creek.
 Sloshing their bare feet in a cool flow of clear water.
 All one midsummer day ten hours the Greeks
         stand in leather shoes shoveling gravel.
 Now they hold their toes and ankles
         to the drift of running water.
 Then they go to the bunk cars
         and eat mulligan and prune sauce,
 Smoke one or two pipefuls, look at the stars,
         tell smutty stories
 About men and women they have known,
         countries they have seen,
 Railroads they have built—
         and then the deep sleep of children.

Published in Cornhuskers

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.