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)


Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home

When love is a shimmering curtain
Before a door of chance
That leads to a world in question

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s siz …
But when I start to tell them,

We die,
Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets,
Stranglers to our outstretched necks,

The eye follows, the land
Slips upward, creases down, forms
The gentle buttocks of a young

When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me
To long-ago rooms,

One innocent spring
your voice meant to me
less than tires turning

Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback

Beloved,
In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips

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

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