Cornhuskers
Carl Sandburg
Page  80

NEAR KEOKUK

THIRTY-TWO Greeks are dipping their feet in a creek.
Sloshing their bare feet in a cool flow of clear water.
All one midsummer day ten hours the Greeks stand in leather shoes shoveling gravel.
Now they hold their toes and ankles to the drift of running water.
Then they go to the bunk cars and eat mulligan and prune sauce,
Smoke one or two pipefuls, look at the stars, tell smutty stories
About men and women they have known, countries they have seen,
Railroads they have built— and then the deep sleep of children.