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The Pennsylvania Department
"Pittsburgh 1932"

by Eleanor Graham

I am the city of Pittsburgh.
I am the city of rivers.
Smoke city,
Steel city,
Coal city,

During the War I gave to the world:
Out of my furnaces, red with flame,
White with heat,
Damp with sweat,
I gave my steel.
Out of my mines, I gave my coal.
I gave my men.
I gave my life in the lives of men.
In sweat,
In labor;
In blood;
I gave.

Now I am quiet as old men are.
I lift my empty smokestacks
Trying to be proud.
Where is my smoke?
Where is my steel?
Where is my dirt?

But the rivers are mine.
You are mine.
They cannot take you.
And the kind fog pretends to be smoke.

I shall come back.

Once more I shall give to the world.
My hills and my rivers are still my strength.
I shall come back
Not because of Fifth Avenue
Or the Mellon Bank
Or the Chamber of Commerce.
I shall come back
Because of my rivers wide and sure,
Because of my belly rich with coal,
Because of my laborers' sweat and blood.

The hiss of a cigarette
Dropped by a bum in the river
Tells me I shall come back.

* Return to Local History.