Verse > Carl Sandburg > Smoke and Steel > II. People Who Must > 1. People Who Must
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Smoke and Steel. 1922.
  
II. People Who Must
1. People Who Must
  
I PAINTED on the roof of a skyscraper.
I painted a long while and called it a day’s work.
The people on a corner swarmed and the traffic cop’s whistle never let up all afternoon.
They were the same as bugs, many bugs on their way—
Those people on the go or at a standstill;        5
And the traffic cop a spot of blue, a splinter of brass,
Where the black tides ran around him
And he kept the street. I painted a long while
And called it a day’s work.

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