Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
Miss Doane
Winifred Virginia Jackson
MISS DOANE was sixty, probably;
    She rented third floor room
That opened on an airshaft full
    Of cooking smells and gloom.
She worked in philanthropic man’s        5
    Well-known department store;
Cashiered in basement, hot and close,
    For forty years or more.
Each night when she came home she’d stand
    A moment in the hall,        10
Before she went into her room
    With low and tender call.
And often I would hear her voice
    Repeat a childish prayer;
Or read some old, old fairy tale        15
    Of Princess, grand and fair.
One night I went to visit her
    And spied, in little chair
A great wax doll, in dainty dress,
    And curls of flaxen hair.        20
I praised the doll; its prettiness;
    Miss Doane said, “I’m alone.
She comforts me. I wanted so
    A child to call my own.”
Each night I heard her softly sing        25
    A childish lullaby;
But once, and just before she died,
    I heard her cry and cry!


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