Lady Liar

Susan Cossette

Her dialect adapts, depending

on where she is, who she is with,

and how much wine is involved.


Was she born in Boston’s Back Bay,

or in the Bronx,

gazing at jagged potholes

and leftover fast food containers

tossed on the Brucker Expressway?


In high school, she stole Izod socks

out of gym lockers,

cut off the tiny alligators,

sewed them onto her acrylic JC Penney sweaters.


Her gold-knot earrings were from Woolworths,

coated with dollar-store nail polish.


She learned to set a table

and write formal thank-you notes

from books in the public library.


The doctor’s son tired of her

antiques, hydrangeas, and affairs.


She runs wild,

in awe of the atomic tiger lilies

and black-eyed Susans

growing by the highway

on the vast Midwestern plains.

Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up, she is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust and Moth, Vita Brevis, ONE ART, As it Ought to Be, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Amethyst Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.

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