Verse > Carl Sandburg > Chicago Poems
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Chicago Poems.  1916.
 
33. To Certain Journeymen
 
 
UNDERTAKERS, hearse drivers, grave diggers,
I speak to you as one not afraid of your business.
 
You handle dust going to a long country,
You know the secret behind your job is the same whether you lower the coffin with modern, automatic machinery, well-oiled and noiseless, or whether the body is laid in by naked hands and then covered by the shovels.
 
Your day’s work is done with laughter many days of the year,        5
And you earn a living by those who say good-by today in thin whispers.
 

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