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Alley Rats

 THEY were calling certain styles of whiskers by the name of “lilacs.
” And another manner of beard assumed in their chatter a verbal guise Of “mutton chops,” “galways,” “feather dusters.
” Metaphors such as these sprang from their lips while other street cries Sprang from sparrows finding scattered oats among interstices of the curb.
Ah-hah these metaphors—and Ah-hah these boys—among the police they were known As the Dirty Dozen and their names took the front pages of newspapers And two of them croaked on the same day at a “necktie party” … if we employ the metaphors of their lips.

Poem by Carl Sandburg
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