Sunday, April 15, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness Day 58

The mother, widow, and father of U.S. Army soldier Jason Nunez watch from a distance under a tree as the soldier's coffin is lowered into a grave, about a week after he was killed in a bomb attack in Iraq, at the military cemetery in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, April 4, 2007. Their names are, left to right, Marlene Fernandez, Nitza Damaris Martnez, and Samuel Nuez.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

I am the People, the Mob
by Carl Sandburg

I am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world's food and
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me
and the
Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing.
Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out
and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes
me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history
to remember. Then--I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the
lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year,
who played me for a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the
world say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a sneer in his
voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.

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April is National Poetry Month