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.”