I Was a Child of the 80s

It would have been cooler to be a child of the 60s–

When things were important, and mattered.

When folks marched on Washington

And men danced like bobble toys on the moon.

Instead, we got the moonwalk.

And Madonna.

Neon clothing, cocaine, Bret Easton Ellis, shoulder pads, power perfume.

I was a child of the 80s.

Student loan Reagan debt,

Work-study slut girl who just wanted to have fun.

It would have been nicer to be a child of the 60s,

Making macramé, growing organic herbs.

Instead, I was spoon-fed Martha Stewart.

I married up in life.

The good wife, serving thin French beans on fine china—

Dipping chocolate strawberries no one ever ate,

Including me.

I was a child of the 80s—

Stuffed in a corporate cubicle in my ill-fitting cheap power suit and foulard necktie.


We sang about losing our religion,

Asked how soon is now–

I found myself, left of center,

Walking like an Egyptian to the love shack.

I will rock the Casbah.

I need your tonight.

I live on a prayer.

My God, what a feeling.

Here I go again—

I am a child of the 80s.

Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up (2017), she is a two-time recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust and Moth, Vita Brevis, Adelaide, Clockwise Cat, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Amethyst Review, Ariel Chart, Poetica Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.

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