We’ve come a long way

Sep 3, 2015 by

Selections from Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg about child labor.

 
They Will Say

Of my city the worst that men will ever say is this:
You took little children away from the sun and the dew,
And the glimmers that played in the grass under the great sky,
And the reckless rain; you put them between walls
To work, broken and smothered, for bread and wages,
To eat dust in their throats and die empty-hearted
For a little handful of pay on a few Saturday nights.

Mill-Doors

You never come back.
I say good-by when I see you going in the doors,
The hopeless open doors that call and wait
And take you then for – how many cents a day?
How many cents for the sleepy eyes and fingers?

I say good-by because I know they tap your wrists,
In the dark, in the silence, day by day
And all the blood of you drop by drop,
And you are old before you are young.
You never come back.
Anna Imroth

Cross the hands over the breast here – so.
Straighten the leg a little more – so.
And call for the wagon to come and take her home.
Her mother will cry some and so will her sisters and brothers.
But all of the others got down and they are safe and this is the only
One of the factory girls who wasn’t lucky in making the jump
When the fire broke
It is the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes.

 

 

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

%d bloggers like this: