Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

22. “Indignation” Jones

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?         5
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.  10
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  15
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.  20
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. 



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