A Woman of Thirty

#Poetry #American
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Excerpt   I. The Old Woman  (A Morality Play)   The Old Woman  (A Morality Play)   Characters:  The Woman  The House  The Doctor  The Deacon  The Landlady   Doctor:  There is an old woman  Who ought to die—   Deacon:  And nobody knows  But what she's dead—   Doctor:  The air will be cleaner  When she's gone—   Deacon:  But we dare not bury her  Till she's dead—   Landlady:  Come, young doctor  From the first floor front,  Come, dusty deacon,  From the fourth floor back,  You take her heels  And I'll take her head—   Doctor and Deacon:  We'll carry her  And bury her  If she's dead!   House:  They roll her up  In her old, red quilt,  They carry her down  At a horizontal tilt,  She doesn't say "Yes"  And she doesn't say "No,"  She doesn't say, "Gentlemen,  Where do we go?"   Doctor:  Out in the lot  Where ash-cans die,  There, old woman,  There shall you lie!   Deacon:  Let's hurry away  And never look behind  To see if her eyes  Are dead and blind,  To see if the quilt  Lies over her face—  Perhaps she'll groan  Or move in her place!   House:  The room is empty  Where the old woman lay,  And I no longer  Smell like a tomb—   Landlady:  Doctor, deacon,  Can you say  Who'll pay rent  For the old woman's room? * * * * * * *   House:  The room is empty  Down the hall,  There are mice in the closet,  Ghosts in the wall—  A pretty little lady  Comes to see—   Woman:  Oh, what a dark room,  Not for me!   Landlady:  The room is large  And the rent is low,  There's a deacon above  And a doctor below—   Deacon:  When the little mice squeak  I shall pray—   Doctor:  I'll psycho-analyse  The ghosts away—   Landlady:  The bed is large  And the mattress deep,  Wrapped in a feather-bed  You shall sleep—   Woman:  But here's the door  Without a key!  An unlocked room  Won't do for me!   Doctor:  Here's a bolt—   Deacon:  And here's a bar—   Landlady:  You'll sleep soundly  Where you are!   Woman:  Good night, gentlemen,  It's growing late,  Good night, landlady,  Pray don't wait!  I'm going to bed,  I'll bolt the door  And sleep more soundly  Than ever before!   Deacon:  Good night, madam,  I'll steal away—   Doctor:  Glad a pretty lady  Has come to stay!   House:  She lights a candle—  What do I see!  That cloak looks like  A quilt to me!  She climbs into bed  Where long she's lain,  She's come back home,  She won't leave again.  She's found once more  Her rightful place,  Same old lady  With a pretty new face.  Let the deacon pray  And the doctor talk,  The mice will squeak  And the ghosts will walk.  There's a crafty smile  On the landlady's face,  The old woman's gone,  But she's filled her place...!
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