Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Revolver

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery, hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.

When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme
    court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of
    execution come in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the
    old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the
    most revolvers.

-- Carl Sandburg, A Revolver, unpublished, found in University of Illinois archives, January 2013

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