Monday, March 23, 2015

Etta Abrahams


"I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job...Go where the money is...and go there often." —William “Willie” Sutton (1901-1980)

When Willie Sutton went to jail in 1952, I prayed
for how-long-I-don't-know,
he’d get good books, and especially
an RCA Color TV --
like my friend Nancy Freigang had
that I

I stole loose change
off Daddy’s highboy,
unsnapped the little purse in Mommy's
handbag, later lifted
Tangee lipstick from Kresge's.

Even now, knowing
he robbed from the rich,
kept it for himself,
never said he hit banks
"Because that's where the money is," I

Some days I want to crank down my
car window, toss Hershey wrappers
to the wind, hold up the Shop 'n Save,
make off with the day's
wear disguises.

Etta reads "True Confessions":

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Etta confesses: "When I was a child, I saw a photo of Willie Sutton in the paper and thought of him as Robin Hood. Something about him appealed to my sense of justice, and I wanted to help him. A color TV was the only thing I could think of. I've always been drawn to 'bad guys'. Maybe I thought I could reform them!"

ETTA C. ABRAHAMS is emerita professor at Michigan State University where she taught writing and American cultural ideas. She spends part of the year in Michigan and part of the year in Maine, along the coast. She has published essays and fiction on crime and mystery writing and has presented many papers on the subjects. Recently, she began writing poetry, and enjoys that, as well. She is co-owner of 2 Write Better LLC, editing consultants.

1 comment:

Richard Smith said...


Holding up up the Shop 'n Save, I can see. But tossing Hershey wrappers
to the wind - you go to far!

BTW, love your poem.