Momma Welfare Roll

Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
And lima beans.
Her jowls shiver in accusation
Of crimes clichéd by
Repetition. Her children, strangers
To childhood's toys, play
Best the games of darkened doorways,
Rooftop tag, and know the slick feel of
Other people's property.

Too fat to whore,
Too mad to work,
Searches her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bureaucrats for
Her portion.
'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.'

by Maya Angelou

Comments (27)

me and amuses me. She doesn't sound like she takes life's difficulties lying down and not fighting back with
Now what was I going to say- -oh yeah this woman's sassy remark both tickles me and concerns
This is third comment I have written on this poem. PH knocked it off twice and then my computer froze up.Now PH is playing flip to the next poem. I would like to comment on the roll of welfare and this woman's
A wonderful poem on life with a great theme. Superb imagery.
A poem that speaks volume in its sketch of life of a black woman. Beaten by fate but always dreaming to be victorious.
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