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by Carl Sandburg, 1916

You never come back.
 I say good-by when I see you going in the doors,
 The hopeless open doors that call and wait
 And take you then for—how many cents a day?
 How many cents for the sleepy eyes and fingers?

 I say good-by because I know they tap your wrists,
 In the dark, in the silence, day by day,
 And all the blood of you drop by drop,
 And you are old before you are young.
     You never come back.

Published in Chicago Poems

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