Jack

by Carl Sandburg

JACK was a swarthy, swaggering son-of-a-gun.

He worked thirty years on the railroad, ten hours a day,

and his hands were tougher than sole leather.

He married a tough woman and they had eight children

and the woman died and the children grew up and

went away and wrote the old man every two years.

He died in the poorhouse sitting on a bench in the sun

telling reminiscences to other old men whose women

were dead and children scattered.

There was joy on his face when he died as there was joy

on his face when he lived--he was a swarthy, swaggering

son-of-a-gun.


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