Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Momma Welfare Roll - Poem 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 bureaucrats for
Her portion.
'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.'

Comments about Momma Welfare Roll by Maya Angelou

  • (6/24/2017 7:57:00 PM)

    Very nice poem. love to read this. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Tom Allport (2/13/2017 12:12:00 PM)

    tom allport
    a sad reality poem about a real person? (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/30/2015 1:27:00 PM)

    Maya knows how to describe the landscape of the heart- - 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.
    (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 5:10:00 PM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out  (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (6/17/2013 8:53:00 PM)

    Maya you really hit the target with this poem. As they say
    in the old school You really took the rag off the bush! .
    A straight and to the nitty gritty write. An eye opener.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/5/2013 12:30:00 PM)

    This poem pleases Jeannette Chung very much. (Report) Reply

  • (9/24/2011 8:16:00 PM)

    Go to any 'social services' building in any urban city and wittness this poem in action and rare form..only, Maya's depiction gives us a flare of pride about it. (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2009 11:29:00 PM)

    She doesn't want to work. The judge had to make her get a job, she kept it for a few months, left, moved away, came back, said she didn't want to pay rent and just moved out without now she is waiting for the government to give her somewhere to stay for free......lazzy a(want to know where she now stays...i just can't muster up enough words to express and or say) ..... (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2009 11:22:00 PM)

    Sounds a lot like my husbands baby mama. You know she still calls him to ask for personal items, he pays child support and still some. You know this b called and asked him to give her a kidney................... (Report) Reply

  • (5/1/2009 11:55:00 PM)

    very realistic and full of true and powerful emotions (Report) Reply

  • (11/21/2007 7:43:00 AM)

    SOmehow for me, i feel this poem ends premature.....there is som uch i feel might have been in the mind that beings that first stanza. It touches me even as a woman, and somehow i feel this 'fat' woman had more to say......much more to say of her circumstances and attitudes that have shaped outy of her struggles....amazing piece. (Report) Reply

  • (4/22/2007 9:21:00 PM)

    Anybody could write 'one of mya's', celebrating the inprovident, incapable and slatternly. (Report) Reply

  • (4/17/2005 7:58:00 AM)

    i'm a poet i love mya she inspires me i havbe three kids though and would love to be a poet some day but for know all i can is take care of them i write some amazing stuff is always suprises me like i wrote that that could be one of mya's
    poems but i would love to get one on here so you could see
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: childhood, work, children, people, child, dream

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Friday, July 27, 2012

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