A Half a Tale

A Half a Tale

 

She knew she had a story to tell

The words seemed to evade her

Like a song about a harvest for the world

Lyrics and melody in commotion

 

The pandemic had left her tapped out

All she had was in her large pocketbook

Last week she had sold her old Ford

The living quarters for the three of them

 

Mary jane is not my name

Double dutch a childhood game

For a quarter and a nickel

You can get a sour pickle

 

There had been a time long past

When laughter was a daily remedy

Chasing away the daily grievances

Rent money, school fees, insurance

 

She felt the defenseless pressure

Leaving her senses desolate

Home is where the heart is

But the roof has to be kept

 

Step on the line

Your mama gets a fine

Take your money back

Fry the spinach black

 

She waited nervously in line

With her information filled-in form

All she wanted was another chance

A narration to nourish her yearning

 

There was a highly inebriated man

Yelling in the adjacent line

About what he would do

If he could do what he wanted

 

Jump up and down

Then do the turn-around

If you ain’t got it

Then it’s time to quit

 

A baby in a carriage bawling

Children jostling each other

Vying for attention

Which is all anyone wants

 

Sit in grandma’s rocking chair

Step on a crack if you dare

If you don’t like my baby

Then don’t you say maybe

 

It was finally her turn

She raised her wrinkled application

Which was greeted by a sullen frown

The testy refusal just a second away

 

But this time it was different

She was told to go and stand

In an even longer line

 

She took her request form

Pulled on her heavy handbag strap

And walked quickly to the adjoining line

Her doleful story just had to wait

For another day.

 

Two for the money

Three for the show

If your mama don’t like it

Then it’s time for your butt to go!

 

Camille Elaine Thomas

October 20, 2021

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