Poem - Ma and Tight Corners: Tipsy Curvy

It was a turquoise
1957 Chevy
with the truck engine.

And Ma would drive that old jalopy
around corners, hell bent
like a Formula One demon on speed,
and she’d yell, Hang on!
We’d be in the back seat
changing from our school clothes
into our brownie uniforms,
and she’d take the corner
with a fighting spirit, on two wheels,
and we’d hang onto the seats
for dear life, gripping with our fingertips
till our lips turned psych ward white,
and then both car doors on one side
would fly open,
no holy shit handles
we’d hang on to that front seat
with the fake fur seat-covers
so we didn’t go flying out…

…and then the corner would be over
and the heavy ’57 Chevy doors
would come flying shut.


And we’d go back to changing our clothes
and eating our Kentucky Fried Chicken
right out of the barrel, like pros,
finger lickin’ good; before seat belts,
and car seats and sun block and water wings.

Way back when they’d give us
matches to play with
and guns to shoot the bottles
lined up on the fence
for fun.

Back when you could ride without a helmet,
feel the wind in your hair.

Because of Ma
I’ve never been afraid
of the dark. She taught
me how to stay on my toes,
how to dance with danger.
And she’s funny. Damn,
she’s funny. Always
makes me laugh.

it scares me
when I think
I might be
like her.

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