Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REMINISCENCE, by LYLE BARTSCHER



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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REMINISCENCE, by            
First Line: I'm hungry, man, hungry / my clothes are ...'
Last Line: Night -- day -- night. . . .
Subject(s): Hunger


"I'm hungry, man, hungry,
My clothes are rags and I am cold;
You say I'm young -- just a boy --
That cannot be; I'm tired, old."
Ah, yes, it seems I can remember now.
Faintly --
But it's so long ago;
"Man, I'm hungry, spare a dime."
What makes it so,
This drumming in my ears? It seems
Like wheels on rails, freights -- freights
All night in rakish broken dreams.
And then, there's dawn, pale -- pastel,
A glimpse of purple hills and trees;
But can it be that I am home?
A fragrant wind across the seas
Of ripened grain --
And I -- or was it I --?
Trudging down a furrow, turning sod,
Feeling dawn, hearing birds, knowing God --
I guess I'm thinking someone else's thoughts;
They're not mine -- strange.
But there's the sun
Across the box-car floor,
Now I know -- just a bum.
There's a pain beneath my belt --
A crust of bread, or just a crumb!
"God, mister, I'm hungry and I'm cold --
No -- you say I'm young -- I'm old."
Why, the man I thought was I was killed --
So long ago.
His soul was crushed by wheels on rails,
His manhood fell along macadam trails;
But that became freights -- freights --
Night -- day -- night. . . .





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