Friday Poem

John M. Church

I was attorney for the “Q”
And the Indemnity Company which insured
The owners of the mine.
I pulled the wires with judge and jury,
And the upper courts, to beat the claims
Of the crippled, the widow and the orphan,
And made a fortune thereat.
The bar association sang my praises
In the high-flown resolution.
And the floral tributes were many—
But the rats devoured my heart
And a snake made a nest in my skull!

by Edgar Lee Masters
from Spoon River Anthology
Collier Books, 1962