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

133. Rosie Roberts

I WAS sick, but more than that, I was mad

At the crooked police, and the crooked game of life.

So I wrote to the Chief of Police at Peoria:

“I am here in my girlhood home in Spoon River,

Gradually wasting away.

But come and take me, I killed the son

Of the merchant prince, in Madam Lou’s,

And the papers that said he killed himself

In his home while cleaning a hunting gun—

Lied like the devil to hush up scandal,

For the bribe of advertising.

In my room I shot him, at Madam Lou’s,

Because he knocked me down when I said

That, in spite of all the money he had,

I’d see my lover that night.”