Verse > Carl Sandburg > Smoke and Steel > VIII. Circles of Doors > 13. Telegram
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Smoke and Steel. 1922.
  
VIII. Circles of Doors
13. Telegram
  
I SAW a telegram handed a two hundred pound man at a desk. And the little scrap of paper charged the air like a set of crystals in a chemist’s tube to a whispering pinch of salt.
Cross my heart, the two hundred pound man had just cracked a joke about a new hat he got his wife, when the messenger boy slipped in and asked him to sign. He gave the boy a nickel, tore the envelope and read.
Then he yelled “Good God,” jumped for his hat and raincoat, ran for the elevator and took a taxi to a railroad depot.
  
As I say, it was like a set of crystals in a chemist’s tube and a whispering pinch of salt.
I wonder what Diogenes who lived in a tub in the sun would have commented on the affair.        5
I know a shoemaker who works in a cellar slamming half-soles onto shoes, and when I told him, he said: “I pay my bills, I love my wife, and I am not afraid of anybody.”

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