Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

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Ida Frickey

NOTHING IN LIFE is alien to you:
I was a penniless girl from Summum
Who stepped from the morning train in Spoon River.
All the houses stood before me with closed doors
And drawn shades—l was barred out;
I had no place or part in any of them.
And I walked past the old McNeely mansion,
A castle of stone ‘mid walks and gardens
With workmen about the place on guard
And the County and State upholding it
For its lordly owner, full of pride.
I was so hungry I had a vision:
I saw a giant pair of scissors
Dip from the sky, like the beam of a dredge,
And cut the house in two like a curtain.
But at the “Commercial” I saw a man,
Who winked at me as I asked for work—
It was Wash McNeely's son.
He proved the link in the chain of title
To half my ownership of the mansion,
Through a breach of promise suit—the scissors.
So, you see, the house, from the day I was born,
Was only waiting for me.