Bronze Mother Mary, beret permanently tossed to the sky–
You preside on Nicolet, in front of the shuttered Dayton’s,
A shrine for those who want a second chance, to make it after all.
Bronze Mother Mary, I came to see you,
To forget losing my own mother this year.
As if a night at the Foshay, steak and lobster at Manny’s
And me singing Petula Clark’s Downtown would make it go away.
Bronze Mother Mary, your sidewalk is not concrete or cobblestone.
It is slick granite, and my boots slid as I ran toward you.
Then a hard thud, and blood as my face hit the pavement.
Bronze Mother Mary, I sat at your feet,
Found a dirty bar napkin in my purse,
And planned dental work for the next morning,
To turn on some oral surgeon’s world with my cracked smile.
Susan Cossette is the author of Peggy Sue Messed Up (2017). A two-time recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in Rust and Moth, Adelaide, Clockwise Cat, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Scarecrow and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.