Verse > Carl Sandburg > Chicago Poems
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Chicago Poems.  1916.
 
29. Working Girls
 
 
THE WORKING girls in the morning are going to work—long lines of them afoot amid the downtown stores and factories, thousands with little brick-shaped lunches wrapped in newspapers under their arms.
Each morning as I move through this river of young-woman life I feel a wonder about where it is all going, so many with a peach bloom of young years on them and laughter of red lips and memories in their eyes of dances the night before and plays and walks.
Green and gray streams run side by side in a river and so here are always the others, those who have been over the way, the women who know each one the end of life’s gamble for her, the meaning and the clew, the how and the why of the dances and the arms that passed around their waists and the fingers that played in their hair.
Faces go by written over: “I know it all, I know where
the bloom and the laughter go and I have memories,” and the feet of these move slower and they have wisdom where the others have beauty.        5
So the green and the gray move in the early morning on the downtown streets.
 

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