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Tuesday, September 09, 2008


by Carmen Tafolla

Little Fannie is crying.
There are holes in her clothes
and holes in her shoes
and a skinny hungry look
on her tear-smudged face.
Daddy’s mad at me, she sobs
Cause Freddie and me lost the
penny he gave us last week.
Daddy Bush-War Bucks
says we wasted it, were
an stupid.
Says we can’t play outside no more,
can’t play at all till we learn how to work.
“It’s all yore fault,” he said,
“That Mama Gum-Mint an I are sufferin so much.
All yore fault for squanderin the stuff we so
generously give you.
Money is serious bid-ness. Needs to be used on important things,”
that’s what he said.
Daddy’s not home right now. He’s gone out to play.
Don’t know for how long. Doesn’t come home early

Fannie and Freddie keep looking
for the penny they lost, sweeping every corner of the house
till way past midnight
While Daddy tipsies home
dropping billions at every step,
drunk on his way home to bed
after squandering
at the exotic new casino called
Iraq .

Carmen Tafolla, a native of San Antonio, is the author of five books of poetry and numerous short stories, screenplays, children's works and essays. Winner of the 1999 Art of Peace Award, for work which contributes to peace, justice, and human understanding, Tafolla’s latest book (2008) is The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans: A Feast of Short Fiction.