83. Russian Sonia

I born in Weimar

Of a mother who was French

And German father, a most learned professor,

Orphaned at fourteen years,

Became a dancer, known as Russian Sonia,

All up and down the boulevards of Paris,

Mistress betimes of sundry dukes and counts,

And later of poor artists and of poets.

At forty years, passée, I sought New York

And met old Patrick Hummer on the boat,

Red-faced and hale, though turned his sixtieth year,

Returning after having sold a ship-load

Of cattle in the German city, Hamburg.

He brought me to Spoon River and we lived here

For twenty years they thought that we were married!

This oak tree near me is the favorite haunt

Of blue jays chattering, chattering all the day.

And why not? for my very dust is laughing

For thinking of the humorous thing called life.

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