YOU never come back.
I say good-by when I see you going in the doors,
The hopeless open doors that call and wait
And take you then for–how many cents a day?
How many cents for the sleepy eyes and fingers?

I say good-by because I know they tap your wrists,
In the dark, in the silence, day by day,
And all the blood of you drop by drop,
And you are old before you are young.
You never come back.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Mill-Doors


  1. T.Nay says:

    here’s what came to my mind.
    i thought it was about a hard worker. maybe a writer/journalist type. working everyday even in nights. he’s been working there since he was a young man. “how many cents for the sleepy eyes and fingers”
    “in the dark, in the silence, day by day”
    “and you are old before you are young”

  2. Kimberly says:

    I really like this poem, but i’m not sure what it’s about. what are mill doors? it makes me think of soldiers, going off to war, each day dying a little.

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