Noon Hour

She sits in the dust at the walls
And makes cigars,
Bending at the bench
With fingers wage-anxious,
Changing her sweat for the day's pay.

Now the noon hour has come,
And she leans with her bare arms
On the window-sill over the river,
Leans and feels at her throat
Cool-moving things out of the free open ways:

At her throat and eyes and nostrils
The touch and the blowing cool
Of great free ways beyond the walls.

by Carl Sandburg

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Comments (1)

Saandburg's compassion for the hard working poor shows here, in the form of the cigar maker toiling under sad conditions indoors among the dust and drear. With respite comes the hint of fresh, clean air and the cool delights of freedom - which she cannot manage to afford. She may dream on, however.