You kill hogs for us all,
Making tools, stacking grain,
Playing with railroads and handling a nation’s trains.
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of big body and quick mind,
Rumor calls you monstrous and I know it’s so, for I saw a lady in paint, shining by a gas lamp of yours, luring farm boys.
And rumor calls you corrupt and I say back: It is so, I saw a gunman kill and walk about to kill again.
And rumor calls you brutal and my word is: On a child’s mouth I saw a mark of wanton starvation.
And having said so I turn again to all who scoff at this my city, and I scoff too and say:
Go and find any city that isn’t this, lifting its chin up, singing so proud to work so rough and strong and cunning.
Flinging a dynamic jinx amid daily toil of piling job on job, this is a tall bold guy in spot four standing vivid against soft tiny towns;
Angry as a dog with mouth lapping for action, cunning as a warrior fighting against sand,
Building, bulldozing, building again,
Through smoky dust all around his mouth, laughing with blank incisors,
Struggling to stand with all that must pass on his back, laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing just as an ignorant champion who hasn’t lost any fights,
Bragging and laughing that through his wrist is a rhythm, and through his ribs our soul, Laughing!
Laughing a stormy, husky, brawling laugh of Youth, shirt off, oozing, proudly killing hogs, making tools, stacking grain, playing with railroads, and handling trains for our nation.


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