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The Widow



I don't think men of eighty odd
  Should let a surgeon operate;
Better to pray for peace with God,
  And reconcile oneself to Fate:
At four-score years we really should
  Be quite prepared to go for good.
 
That's what I told my husband but
  He had a hearty lust for life,
And so he let a surgeon cut
  Into his innards with a knife.
The sawbones swore: "The man's so fat
  His kidneys take some getting at."

And then (according to a nurse),
  They heard him petulantly say:
"Adipose tissue is curse:
  It's hard to pack them tripes away."
At last he did; sewed up the skin,
  But left, some say, a swab within.

I do not doubt it could be so,
  For Lester did not long survive.
But for mishap, I think with woe
  My hubby might still be alive.
And while they praise the surgeon's skill,
  My home I've sold--to pay his bill.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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