I AM put high over all others in the city today.

I am the killer who kills for those who wish a killing today.

Here is a strong young man who killed.
There was a driving wind of city dust and horse dung blowing and he stood at an intersection of five sewers and there pumped the bullets of an automatic pistol into another man, a fellow citizen.
Therefore, the prosecuting attorneys, fellow citizens, and a jury of his peers, also fellow citizens, listened to the testimony of other fellow citizens, policemen, doctors, and after a verdict of guilty, the judge, a fellow citizen, said: I sentence you to be hanged by the neck till you are dead.

So there is a killer to be killed and I am the killer of the killer for today.
I don’t know why it beats in my head in the lines I read once in an old school reader: I’m to be queen of the May, mother, I’m to be queen of the May.
Anyhow it comes back in language just like that today.

I am the high honorable killer today.
There are five million people in the state, five million killers for whom I kill
I am the killer who kills today for five million killers who wish a killing.

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1 Comment

  1. Kelsey says:

    I love this poem. I’m pretty sure it’s about John Wilkes Booth killing Abraham Lincoln. Sandburg wrote this in 1922 and between 1912 and 1928 he was writing his biographies on Abraham Lincoln. Booth also compared himself to Brutus in his diary as being honorable just like the line “I am the high honourable killer to-day.”

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