Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

Ice Handler - Poem by Carl Sandburg

I know an ice handler who wears a flannel shirt with pearl buttons the size of a dollar,
And he lugs a hundred-pound hunk into a saloon ice-box, helps himself to cold ham and rye bread,
Tells the bartender it’s hotter than yesterday and will be hotter yet to-morrow, by Jesus,
And is on his way with his head in the air and a hard pair of fists.
He spends a dollar or so every Saturday night on a two hundred pound woman who washes dishes in the Hotel Morrison.
He remembers when the union was organized he broke the noses of two scabs and loosened the nuts so the wheels came off six different wagons one morning, and he came around and watched the ice melt in the street.
All he was sorry for was one of the scabs bit him on the knuckles of the right hand so they bled when he came around to the saloon to tell the boys about it.


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Read poems about / on: sorry, woman, night, remember, women



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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