Ma And Her Checkbook

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Ma has a dandy little book that's full of narrow
  An' when she wants to pay a bill a page from
  it she rips;
  She just writes in the dollars and the cents and
  signs her name
  An' that's as good as money, though it doesn't
  look the same.
  When she wants another bonnet or some
  feathers for her neck,
  She promptly goes an' gets 'em, an' she writes
  another check.
  I don't just understand it, but I know she
  sputters when
  Pa says to her at supper:  "Well!  You're
  overdrawn again!"

  Ma's not a business woman, she is much too
  kind of heart
  To squabble over pennies or to play a selfish
  An' when someone asks for money, she's not
  one to stop an' think
  Of a little piece of paper an' the cost of pen
  an' ink.
  She just tells him very sweetly if he'll only
  wait a bit
  An' be seated in the parlor, she will write a
  check for it.
  She can write one out for twenty just as easily
  as ten,
  An' forgets that Pa may grumble:  "Well,
  you're overdrawn again!"

  Pa says it looks as though he'll have to start in
  workin' nights
  To gather in the money for the checks that
  mother writes.
  He says that every morning when he's summoned
  to the phone,
  He's afraid the bank is calling to make mother's
  shortage known.
  He tells his friends if ever anything our fortune
  They can trace it to the moment mother started
  writing checks.
  He's got so that he trembles when he sees her
  fountain pen
  An' he mutters:  "Do be careful!  You'll be
  overdrawn again!"

© Edgar Albert Guest