I KNOW an ice handler who wears a flannel shirt with
pearl buttons the size of a dollar,
And he lugs a hundred-pound hunk into a saloon ice-
box, helps himself to cold ham and rye bread,
Tells the bartender it’s hotter than yesterday and will be
hotter yet to-morrow, by Jesus,
And is on his way with his head in the air and a hard
pair of fists.
He spends a dollar or so every Saturday night on a two
hundred pound woman who washes dishes in the
Hotel Morrison.
He remembers when the union was organized he broke
the noses of two scabs and loosened the nuts so the
wheels came off six different wagons one morning,
and he came around and watched the ice melt in the
All he was sorry for was one of the scabs bit him on the
knuckles of the right hand so they bled when he
came around to the saloon to tell the boys about it.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Ice Handler

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