I give the undertakers permission to haul my body to the graveyard and to lay away all, the head, the feet, the hands, all: I know there is something left over they can not put away. Let the nanny goats and the billy goats of the shanty people eat the clover over my grave and if any yellow hair or any blue smoke of flowers is good enough to grow over me let the dirty-fisted children of the shanty people pick these flowers. I have had my chance to live with the people who have too much and the people who have too little and I chose one of the two and I have told no man why.
This poem is in the public domain.
Carl Sandburg was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes in his lifetime—the first in 1919 for his poetry collection Corn Huskers, the second in 1940 for his biography Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, and the third in 1951 for Complete Poems.
Date Published: 1918-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/testament