Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

The Mayor Of Gary - Poem by Carl Sandburg

I asked the mayor of Gary about the 12-hour day and the 7-day week.
And the mayor of Gary answered more workmen steal time on the job in Gary than any other place in the United States.
"Go into the plants and you will see men sitting around doing nothing--machinery does everything," said the mayor of Gary when I asked him about the 12-hour day and the 7-day week.
And he wore cool cream pants, the Mayor of Gary, and white shoes, and a barber had fixed him up with a shampoo and a shave and he was east and imperturbable though the government weather bureau thermometer said 96 and children were soaking their heads at bubbling fountains on the street corners.
And I said good-bye to the Mayor of Gary and I went out from the city hall and turned the corner into Broadway.
And I saw workmen wearing leather shoes scruffed with fire and cinders, and pitted with little holes from running molten steel,
And some had bunches of specialized muscles around their shoulder blades hard as pig iron, muscles of their forearms were sheet steel and they looked to me like men who had been somewhere.


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Read poems about / on: weather, running, city, children, fire, time, child



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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