Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
A Call in Hell
By Violet Hunt
I HAVE my best clothes on;
A card case in my hand,
And pain in my heart.
Some one, before I started
Out from the happy home,        5
Kissed me
On the unhappy eyes with his unhappy mouth,
And said, “Go out—have cheer—and see your friends.”
The world goes on although we burn in hell.
Across the rutty roads that lie in ridges,        10
Striped and barred like the back of a beaten woman,
Past windows blinded with lace—
So one shall not look in
On five, ten, or a dozen covert lives
Like his, like mine, like ours—        15
For all we do the best we can
Under the complicated curse.
Past blighted corners of streets,
Where the winds of loneliness take me and twist me
Like a rag sodden with tears,        20
Forcing me to the shelter of strong houses
Where at least a door will open if I ring…..
I hope no one will be in
For if they are kind to me I shall cry.
The door opens on Chinoiseries.        25
The mild white maid with many frills
Stands expectant.
There are curtains at her back
Hot and red—no gray.
It is the East in Cromwell Road,        30
The East where man is polygamous
And without reproach.
They were in and not too kind….
The kettle hissed and I drank;
Then a parrot shrieked and I fled.        35
And I am back in the street.
There are miles and miles of paving stones
Rectangular, with round bosses for the coal cellars.
They converge to a vanishing point        40
Before they turn and hit me….
There is a cab, and home!
Home? What home?
The streets are kinder.

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