Carl Sandburg


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 
    of Chicago.
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.