where will I find the Big Shoulders
of Carl Sandburg’s poem?
The Hog Butcher for the World?
The Tool Maker and the Shovel Man,
the Player with Railroads,
“stormy, husky, brawling”?
I felt the Shoulders in the buildings,
their massive weight and permanence
pressing down on the Earth.
Lunch al fresco overlooking the river.
Big Herm’s hot dog, with everything
plus fries and root beer:
the Hog Butcher is still doing his job.
I didn’t see the Shovel Man,
just the machine that does his work,
and its handler, son of Shovel Man,
who doesn’t look Tuscan at all.
The huge hall was empty at Union Station,
the echoes from my footsteps
bounced off columns and marble walls
but I never heard a rumble down below,
where trains rested on quiet tracks:
they go all over the country, not just on the urban line,
from here, Freight Handler for this Nation.