Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Crying is Lonely

I've had this poem and its characters on my mind a while now...
A Couple
Carl Sandberg

He was in Cincinnati, she in Burlington.
He was in a gang of Postal Telegraph lineman.
She was a pot rassler in a boarding house.
“The crying is lonely,” she wrote him.
“The same here,” he answered.
The winter went by and he came back and they married
And he went away again where rainstorms knocked down
telegraph poles and wires dropped with frozen sleet.
And again she wrote him, “The crying is lonely.”
And again he answered, “The same here.”
Their five children are in public schools.
He votes the Republican ticket and is a taxpayer.
They are known among those who know them
As honest American citizens living honest lives.
Many things that bother other people never bother them,
They have their five children and they are a couple,
A pair of birds that call to each other and satisfy.
As sure as he goes away she writes him, “The crying is lonely”
And he flashes back the old answer, “The same here.”
It is a long time since he was a gang lineman at Cincinnati
And she was a pot rassler in a Burlington boarding house;
Yet they never get tired of each other; they are a couple.