Testament


by Carl Sandburg (1878  1967)

I give the undertakers permission to haul my body
to the graveyard and to lay away all, the head, the 
feet, the hands, all:

I know there is something left over they can not put away.


Let the nanny goats and the billy goats of the shanty
people
eat the clover over my grave
and if any yellow 
hair
or any blue smoke of flowers
is good enough to grow 
over me
let the dirty-fisted children
of the shanty people pick these flowers.


I have had my chance to live with the people who have
too much and the people who have
too little and I chose one of the two and I have told no man why.

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One Reply to “Testament”

  1. Thank you Doug, for those hauntingly beautiful lines.
    I will not forget them soon.
    I would like to reciprocate by sharing what Axel Munthe wrote about the souls of animals, whom he loved.

    “If it is true that there is no haven of rest for them when their sufferings here are at an end, I, for one, am not going to bargain for any heaven for myself. I shall go without fear where they go, and by the side of my brothers and sisters from forests and fields, from skies and seas, lie down to merciful extinction in their mysterious underworld, safe from any further torments inflicted by God or man, safe from any haunting dream of eternity.”

    Like

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