Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BOES, by CARL SANDBURG



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First Line: I waited today for a freight train to pass
Last Line: He had left over when he got drunk.
Subject(s): Wandering & Wanderers; Wanderlust; Vagabonds; Tramps; Hoboes


I WAITED today for a freight train to pass.
Cattle cars with steers butting their horns against the bars, went by.
And a half a dozen hoboes stood on bumpers between cars.
Well, the cattle are respectable, I thought.
Every steer has its transportation paid for by the farmer sending it to market,
While the hoboes are law-breakers in riding a railroad train without a ticket.
It reminded me of ten days I spent in the Allegheny County jail in Pittsburgh.
I got ten days even though I was a veteran of the Spanish-American war.
Cooped in the same cell with me was an old man, a bricklayer and a booze-fighter.
But it just happened he, too, was a veteran soldier, and he had fought to preserve the Union and
free the niggers.
We were three in all, the other being a Lithuanian who got drunk on pay day at the steel works and
got to fighting a policeman;
All the clothes he had was a shirt, pants and shoes -- somebody got his hat and coat and what money
he had left over when he got drunk.





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