Maya Angelou

poems:

42

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 cliched 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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