Ma has a dandy little book that's full of narrow slips, 
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 part, 
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 sum- 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 wrecks 
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 Guest 

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