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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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WELFARE FRAUD



“Where a power is remedial in its nature…it ought to be construed liberally.”

                    --Joseph Story

                    The Constitution of the United States



Hands folded

  at her waist,

     blonde hair

  pulled back

     into a bun,

  she stammered, licked

      her lips,

         then closed her eyes

            and mumbled

     Yes I said

        he could come back

           and live with me;

       I’m guilty,

           yes, I….


“Why?” I asked her

   in her cell.

      She shrugged the beatings?

   he don’t    

     know—the judge

        I mean,

    ain’t never had to hurt

       cause a baby’s sick

          and you’re all alone


     and I squeezed her hand

        through bars

           that divide

        the guilty

           from the poor.


        -Robert Joe Stout