Momma Welfare Roll Poem by Maya Angelou

Momma Welfare Roll

Rating: 3.7


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 OF THE POEM
Penny Penny 22 August 2009

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 notice....so 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) .....

20 54 Reply
Steve Mcdonald 22 April 2007

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

16 48 Reply
Penny Penny 22 August 2009

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...................

28 35 Reply
Martine Bland 24 September 2011

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.

31 32 Reply
Quiana Harlin 17 April 2005

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

25 26 Reply
Suresh Kumar Ek 05 September 2020

no need of charity, it is right

0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 26 August 2018

me and amuses me. She doesn't sound like she takes life's difficulties lying down and not fighting back with

2 0 Reply
Susan Williams 26 August 2018

Now what was I going to say- -oh yeah this woman's sassy remark both tickles me and concerns

2 0 Reply
Susan Williams 26 August 2018

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

2 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 26 August 2018

A wonderful poem on life with a great theme. Superb imagery.

0 0 Reply
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