Annie’s Blues
Stephanie Humphries

An angel told me there was some nonsense
about how George Bailey wished he’d never been born.

Let me tell you, it wouldn’t be all bad if he’d never been conceived.
Day after year, toiling away at maintaining a house not my own.
Never a part of the family—
nothing more than an assumption taken for granted.
A child underfoot doubles the work,
especially that precocious George.

I took in evening washing
to have a few pennies to hold onto.
So when my Prince Charming came along,
I could leave that house,
become a whole person folks had to reckon with,
and have enough for a divorce,
in case it all slipped through my hands like dirty dishwater.

These white fools robbed me.
My paper bill backed dreams discarded just like that,
in a collection hat on Christmas Eve.