A Sandburg “Monument” to Washington

In honor of President’s Day and Washington’s Birthday:

Washington Monument by Night

1.

The stone goes straight.
A lean swimmer dives into night sky,
Into half-moon mist.

2.

Two trees are coal black.
This is a great white ghost between.
It is cool to look at,
Strong men, strong women, come here.

3.

Eight years is a long time
To be fighting all the time.

4.

The republic is a dream.
Nothing happens unless first a dream.

5.

The wind bit hard at Valley Forge one Christmas.
Soldiers tied rags on their feet.
Red footprints wrote on the snow…
…and stone shoots into stars here
…into half-moon mist tonight.

6.

Tongues wrangled dark at a man.
He buttoned his overcoat and stood alone.
In a snowstorm, red hollyberries, thoughts, he stood alone.

7.

Women said: He is lonely
…fighting…fighting…eight years…

8.

The name of an iron man goes over the world.
It takes a long time to forget an iron man.

9.

………
………

— Carl Sandburg (1922)

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