Carl Sandburg

Here you will find the Poem Boes of poet Carl Sandburg


I waited today for a freight train to pass.
Cattle cars with steers butting their horns against the
 bars, went by.
And a half a dozen hoboes stood on bumpers between
Well, the cattle are respectable, I thought.
Every steer has its transportation paid for by the farmer
 sending it to market,
While the hoboes are law-breakers in riding a railroad
 train without a ticket.
It reminded me of ten days I spent in the Allegheny
 County jail in Pittsburgh.
I got ten days even though I was a veteran of the
 Spanish-American war.
Cooped in the same cell with me was an old man, a
 bricklayer and a booze-fighter.
But it just happened he, too, was a veteran soldier, and
 he had fought to preserve the Union and free the
We were three in all, the other being a Lithuanian who
 got drunk on pay day at the steel works and got to
 fighting a policeman;
All the clothes he had was a shirt, pants and shoes--
 somebody got his hat and coat and what money he
 had left over when he got drunk.