Interior

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Cornhuskers by Carl Sandburg
Interior
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INTERIOR

In the cool of the night time

The clocks pick off the points

And the mainsprings loosen.

They will need winding.

One of these days...

they will need winding.


Rabelais in red boards,

Walt Whitman in green,

Hugo in ten-cent paper covers,

Here they stand on shelves

In the cool of the night time

And there is nothing...

To be said against them...

Or for them...

In the cool of the night time

And the clocks.


A man in pigeon-gray pyjamas.

The open window begins at his feet

And goes taller than his head.

Eight feet high is the pattern.


Moon and mist make an oblong layout.

Silver at the man's bare feet.

He swings one foot in a moon silver.

And it costs nothing.


One more day of bread and work.

One more day...so much rags...

The man barefoot in moon silver

Mutters "You" and "You"

To things hidden

In the cool of the night time,

In Rabelais, Whitman, Hugo,

In an oblong of moon mist.


Out from the window...prairielands.

Moon mist whitens a golf ground.

Whiter yet is a limestone quarry.

The crickets keep on chirring.


Switch engines of the Great Western

Sidetrack box cars, make up trains

For Weehawken, Oskaloosa, Saskatchewan;

The cattle, the coal, the corn, must go

In the night...on the prairielands.


Chuff-chuff go the pulses.

They beat in the cool of the night time.

Chuff-chuff and chuff-chuff...

These heartbeats travel the night a mile

And touch the moon silver at the window

And the bones of the man.

It costs nothing.


Rabelais in red boards,

Whitman in green,

Hugo in ten-cent paper covers,

Here they stand on shelves

In the cool of the night time

And the clocks.