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by Carl Sandburg, 1916

Twenty men stand watching the muckers.
       Stabbing the sides of the ditch
       Where clay gleams yellow,
       Driving the blades of their shovels
       Deeper and deeper for the new gas mains
       Wiping sweat off their faces
             With red bandanas
 The muckers work on .. pausing .. to pull
 Their boots out of suckholes where they slosh.

   Of the twenty looking on
 Ten murmer, “O, its a hell of a job,”
 Ten others, “Jesus, I wish I had the job.”

Published in Chicago Poems

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