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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 Store
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.


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