Verse > Carl Sandburg > Smoke and Steel > VII. Passports > 13. High Conspiratorial Person
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Smoke and Steel. 1922.
  
VII. Passports
13. High Conspiratorial Person
  
OUT of the testimony of such reluctant lips, out of the oaths and mouths of such scrupulous liars, out of perjurers whose hands swore by God to the white sun before all men,
  
Out of a rag saturated with smears and smuts gathered from the footbaths of kings and the loin cloths of whores, from the scabs of Babylon and Jerusalem to the scabs of London and New York,
  
From such a rag that has wiped the secret sores of kings and overlords across the milleniums of human marches and babblings,
  
From such a rag perhaps I shall wring one reluctant desperate drop of blood, one honest-to-God spot of red speaking a mother-heart.

December, 1918.
Christiania, Norway

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