Mamie beat her head against the bars of a little Indiana town and
dreamed of romance and big things off somewhere the way the
railroad trains all ran.
She could see the smoke of the engines get lost down where the
streaks of steel flashed in the sun and when the newspapers came
in on the morning mail she knew there was a big Chicago far off,
where all the trains ran.
She got tired of the barber shop boys and the post office chatter and
the church gossip and the old pieces the band played on the
Fourth of July and Decoration Day
And sobbed at her fate and beat her head against the bars and was
going to kill herself
When the thought came to her that if she was going to die she might
as well die struggling for a clutch of romance among the streets
She has a job now at six dollars a week in the basement of the Boston
And even now she beats her head against the bars in the same old
way and wonders if there is a bigger place the railroads run to
from Chicago where maybe there is
and big things
and real dreams
that never go smash.