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Memoir of a Proud Boy

 HE lived on the wings of storm.
The ashes are in Chihuahua.
Out of Ludlow and coal towns in Colorado Sprang a vengeance of Slav miners, Italians, Scots, Cornishmen, Yanks.
Killings ran under the spoken commands of this boy With eighty men and rifles on a hogback mountain.
They killed swearing to remember The shot and charred wives and children In the burnt camp of Ludlow, And Louis Tikas, the laughing Greek, Plugged with a bullet, clubbed with a gun butt.
As a home war It held the nation a week And one or two million men stood together And swore by the retribution of steel.
It was all accidental.
He lived flecking lint off coat lapels Of men he talked with.
He kissed the miners’ babies And wrote a Denver paper Of picket silhouettes on a mountain line.
He had no mother but Mother Jones Crying from a jail window of Trinidad: “All I want is room enough to stand And shake my fist at the enemies of the human race.
” Named by a grand jury as a murderer He went to Chihuahua, forgot his old Scotch name, Smoked cheroots with Pancho Villa And wrote letters of Villa as a rock of the people.
How can I tell how Don Magregor went? Three riders emptied lead into him.
He lay on the main street of an inland town.
A boy sat near all day throwing stones To keep pigs away.
The Villa men buried him in a pit With twenty Carranzistas.
There is drama in that point… …the boy and the pigs.
Griffith would make a movie of it to fetch sobs.
Victor Herbert would have the drums whirr In a weave with a high fiddle-string’s single clamor.
“And the muchacho sat there all day throwing stones To keep the pigs away,” wrote Gibbons to the Tribune.
Somewhere in Chihuahua or Colorado Is a leather bag of poems and short stories.

Poem by Carl Sandburg
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