Momma Welfare Roll

Momma Welfare Roll

by Maya Angelou

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 bereaucrats for
Her portion.
'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.'

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Miscellany

Maya-angelou


Other poems by Maya Angelou (read randomly)


They went home and told their wives,
that never once in all their lives,
had they known a girl like me,

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance...

Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,

I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping

There is no warning rattle at the door
nor heavy feet to stomp the foyer boards.
Safe in the dark prison, I know that

We were entwined in red rings
Of blood and loneliness before
The first snows fell

Some clichty folks
don't know the facts,
posin' and preenin'

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon,

I keep on drying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping

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