Verse > Carl Sandburg > Smoke and Steel > VIII. Circles of Doors > 19. Vaudeville Dancer
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Smoke and Steel. 1922.
VIII. Circles of Doors
19. Vaudeville Dancer
ELSIE FLIMMERWON, you got a job now with a jazz outfit in vaudeville.
The houses go wild when you finish the act shimmying a fast shimmy to The Livery Stable Blues.
It is long ago, Elsie Flimmerwon, I saw your mother over a washtub in a grape arbor when your father came with the locomotor ataxia shuffle.
It is long ago, Elsie, and now they spell your name with an electric sign.
Then you were a little thing in checked gingham and your mother wiped your nose and said: You little fool, keep off the streets.        5
Now you are a big girl at last and streetfuls of people read your name and a line of people shaped like a letter S stand at the box office hoping to see you shimmy.



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