She sits in the coffee shop talking to herself, arguing about things no one understands. Past conflicts have never been resolved but linger in her head. She drinks from an old coffee cup tangled in superstition. She sees her father at the bottom, her mother the cream at the top. She thinks about the children she once had. The ones that came from her womb while standing up. Many see the woman as an outlaw, a Ma Barker, a bandit queen about to grab a gun, start a fistfight, pull the fire alarm. Far from dangerous. A long way from her home in North Carolina, she knows she’s a desperado-- used to it by now. She leaves with her old coffee cup-- unties her imaginary horse, and rides.
First published at Spillwords.com.
For Bandit Queen and other poems, please read Awkward Grace.