Carl Sandburg


I have been watching the war map slammed up for advertising in 
     front of the newspaper office. 
Buttons—red and yellow buttons—blue and black buttons—are 
     shoved back and forth across the map. 

A laughing young man, sunny with freckles, 
Climbs a ladder, yells a joke to somebody in the crowd, 
And then fixes a yellow button one inch west
And follows the yellow button with a black button one inch west. 

(Ten thousand men and boys twist on their bodies in a red soak 
     along a river edge, 
Gasping of wounds, calling for water, some rattling death in their 
Who would guess what it cost to move two buttons one inch on the 
    war map here in front of the newspaper office where the freckle-
    faced young man is laughing to us?