“Horses and Men in Rain”
Let us sit by a hissing steam radiator a winter’s day, gray wind pattering frozen
raindrops on the window,
And let us talk about milk wagon drivers and grocery delivery boys.
Let us keep our feet in wool slippers and mix hot punches – and talk about mail carriers
and messenger boys slipping along the icy sidewalks.
Let us write of olden, golden days and hunters of the Holy Grail and men called
“knights” riding horses in the rain, in the cold frozen rain for ladies they loved.
A roustabout hunched on a coal wagon goes by, icicles drip on his hat rim, sheets of ice
wrapping the hunks of coal, the caravanserai a gray blur in slant of rain.
Let us nudge the steam radiator with our wool slippers and write poems of Launcelot,
the hero, and Roland, the hero, and all the olden golden men who rode horses in the rain.
* * *
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967). From Cornhuskers (1918).