The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Baila Conmigo” by Linda Ferguson


“Mama Gets Some Road Rage”

I drive un-American, I’m
the joke you heard the whole time
you were growing up—the
Sunday driver, the little old lady,
hunched in her intent to obey the speed limit—
the one who hesitates to make a left turn
when you’re late to work,
the one you’d like to shake
your fist at or even knock to
kingdom come—
what the hell is she waiting for,
a written invitation?

I drive like her—I’m
the piddling thing with
my pointed chin tilted up,
pale eyes awake, watching for trouble
like a squirrel in wildcat territory—
that’s me,

and it’s a free country,
so go ahead and vent some spleen—
lean on your horn,
don’t hold back—
make me jump
grit your teeth
bear down on me—

you, riding so high
in your shiny four-wheel drive
hotter than moans and thighs—
why not clench a rock in your thick-knuckled hand
why not go ahead and break glass,
or point a pistol out your window
and take aim—

better yet, slam on your brakes
and tear me from my car,
drag me by the hair
kick at gravel like it was teeth—

you, with your new running shoes
your work boots
your black office shoes polished
obsidian smooth—
go ahead and do what rage
tells you to do and don’t stop
to call the paramedics for me—

I’ll crawl back to my car
and drive home slow,
slow as I need,
like a bird balancing
a blue egg on its wing.

This selection comes from the poetry chapbook Baila Conmigo, available from Dancing Girl Press. Order your copy here.

Linda Ferguson‘s work has been published in Mount Hope, Santa Fe Literary Review, Cloudbank and other journals. She’s won awards for her poetry as well as an award for lyrical nonfiction from Perceptions Magazine of the Arts. She’s also received a Pushcart nomination for fiction from Gold Man Review. Her poetry chapbook, Baila Conmigo, was published by Dancing Girl Press. She teaches creative writing for adults and children.

Sam Slaughter is a spirits writer living in the New York City area. He received his BA from Elon University and his MA from Stetson University.  He writes for The Manual and his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of places, including Midwestern GothicMcSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Heavy Feather Review. He was awarded the 2014 Best of There Will Be Words and his debut chapbook When You Cross That Line was published in May 2015. His debut short story collection God in Neon was published in 2016 published by Lucky Bastard Press. He loves playing with puppies and a good glass of bourbon.

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