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by Carl Sandburg, 1918

On the one hand the steel works.
 On the other hand the penitentiary.
 Sante Fé trains and Alton trains
 Between smokestacks on the west
 And gray walls on the east.
 And Lockport down the river.

 Part of the valley is God’s.
 And part is man’s.
 The river course laid out
 A thousand years ago.
 The canals ten years back.

 The sun on two canals and one river
 Makes three stripes of silver
 Or copper and gold
 Or shattered sunflower leaves.
     Talons of an iceberg
     Scraped out this valley.
     Claws of an avalanche loosed here.

Published in Cornhuskers

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