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The farm was lonely, set so far
Back from the town;
If neighbors came, he'd rant and rave
If they sat down.
And when they went he forced upon
Her hateful thought,
And nagged; made ugly use of words
With meaning fraught.
Her back was bent with work she'd done
Beyond her strength;
For he planned more than she could do
In each day's length.
The days seemed all alike to her
Until, one day,
She found a blue bird, maimed in wing,
So bright and gay
She loved it, cared for it, and soon
The bird loved her;
When he came, she would hide it and
It would not stir.
One noon he came and caught her with
:The bird in play;
He killed it right before her in
A fearful way.
A neighbor came, to ask about
A plough, that night;
He never could forget that strange
And awful sight.
She'd used the kitchen knife on him
And he was dead;
She sat, a bruised and battered thing
From feet to head,
And hummed a little song, or spoke
A tender word,
And tried to make blue feathers stay
Upon a bird!
Winifred Virginia Jackson