Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).  Spoon River Anthology.  1916.

162. 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—I was barred out;         5
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  10
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.  15
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,  20
Through a breach of promise suit—the scissors. 
So, you see, the house, from the day I was born, 
Was only waiting for me. 



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