The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: S.B. Ferguson’s “River Rise”

ferguson author pic


Now that everything old is art—
maps, weather vanes, hand-cranked
washing machines, leather buttons,
even cast iron irons turned
doorstops turned precious
folk pieces—the trick,
it seems, is simply to go
for longevity. When your great
grandmother-in-law gives you a quilt
this evening, speckled with roosters
and starbursts, two names and a date, hang it
on the wall and wait. She’ll visit
on Thanksgiving and remember
she was once young like you
are now and knew she could
never do without him and he without
a drink, that she needed
someone to help her live
among the mules, to push her
to dance at county festivals in front
of people she thought
she could never love and accept
the loss of whatever
it was she thought she had.
In the middle of passing
the gravy, she’ll look up
at the wall and stroke
her dewlap and say, What
a kind gesture, but
you’re supposed to fuck under it.


This selection comes from S.B. Ferguson’s chapbook River Rise, available now from Yellow Flag Press. Purchase your copy here!

S.B. Ferguson is a Ph.D. Fellow in Poetry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “River Rise” is her first chapbook.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.


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