YOU WOULD NOT believe, would you, That I came from good Welsh stock? That I was purer blooded than the white trash here? And of more direct lineage than the New Englanders And Virginians of Spoon River? You would not believe that I had been to school And read some books. You saw me only as a run-down man, With matted hair and beard And ragged clothes. Sometimes a man's life turns into a cancer From being bruised and continually bruised, And swells into a purplish mass, Like growths on stalks of corn. Here was I, a carpenter, mired in a bog of life Into which I walked, thinking it was a meadow, With a slattern for a wife, and poor Minerva, my daughter, Whom you tormented and drove to death. So I crept, crept, like a snail through the days Of my life. No more you hear my footsteps in the morning, Resounding on the hollow sidewalk Going to the grocery store for a little corn meal And a nickel's worth of bacon.