Carl Sandburg (18781967). Chicago Poems. 1916.

144. The Junk Man

I AM glad God saw Death
And gave Death a job taking care of all who are tired of living:

When all the wheels in a clock are worn and slow and the connections loose
And the clock goes on ticking and telling the wrong time from hour to hour
And people around the house joke about what a bum clock it is,
How glad the clock is when the big Junk Man drives his wagon
Up to the house and puts his arms around the clock and says:
        "You don’t belong here,
        You gotta come
        Along with me
How glad the clock is then, when it feels the arms of the Junk Man close around it and carry it away.


many, many thanks to Lometa for helping me track this poem down. You can find Sandburg's entire collected poems at

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