Books [Description of a Mill Village]
“I started to work in the mill when I was eight years old,” she said. “I've been there ever since and I'm sixty now. Papa set me free when I was nineteen and after that what I made was mine. But I've never married, and most of the time I've had the expense of the home on my shoulders. I looked after both Ma and Pa in their old age. I managed to save me $1,400 during good wages and I put it in the bank. Then the bank went busted and I lost my money.
“This poem you're talkin' about may not sound like much, but it puts down on paper what plenty of us feel. I didn't got much schoolin' but I've always liked to write down my thoughts. I feel like I've told the truth in the poem.”
“Thank you very much, Miss Branch,” I said. “I'll have to hurry now because it looks like rain.”
Mary Branch hurried back to her work and I walked swiftly up the road with the man, to Janie's house. “Just go on round to the back,” the man said. “Most likely she's in the kitchen because her man is usually asleep in the front room of a evenin'.”
Janie and a friend sat in the kitchen busily sewing on a quilt. “I'll be glad to give you the poem,” Janie said when I had told her what I wanted. “And it's one good piece of writin' too. Mary has put down on paper what the rest of us feel. She's a regular monkey wrench, Mary is. Can do more things than any one person I know.”