Tuesday, September 09, 2014

“The Immigrant” (poem)

 “The Immigrant”

I have shouldered my burden as the American
I contribute eighty-five percent of all the labor
in the slaughtering and meat-packing industries.
I do seven-tenths of the bituminous coal mining.
I do seventy-eight per cent of all the work
in the woolen mills.
I contribute nineteen-twentieths of all the clothing.
I manufacture more than half of the shoes.
I build four-fifths of all the furniture.
I make half the collars, cuffs and shirts.
I turn out four-fifths of all the leather.
I make half the gloves.
I refine nearly nineteen-twentieths of the sugar.
I make half of the tobacco and cigars.
And yet, I am the great American problem.
When I pour out my blood on your altar of labor,
and lay down my life as a sacrifice
to your god of toil, and make no more
comment than at the fall of a sparrow.
But my brawn is woven into the warp and woof
of the fabric of your national.
My children shall be your children and your land
shall be my land because my sweat and
my blood will cement the foundations
of the America of Tomorrow.

Frederick J. Haskins

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