My mother’s saints—the quiet
ones—have grown used to their oblivion.
Like most things my mother left
they don’t fit my life without her. I claim them
anyway—Joseph of real estate and Matthew
of accounting. Oh, she believed
in Jude [desperate] and Anthony [lost]
but loved the lesser saints for their specific
uses their pinpoint map
of woes and wishes. Genevieve
of disasters and Paris Edward of difficult
marriages and Theresa her name
saint patron of headache sufferers.
Mom worked in bookkeeping
divorced my father and sold
our old house. Maybe she dreamed
in French. I imagine her in a raccoon coat
and red heels stubbing out a Winston
as she slipped her pleas into the side
door of Sacred Heart a wild stab
slightly snide hedging her bets.
Jeri Theriault’s poetry collections include Radost, My Red and the award-winning In the Museum of Surrender. She is the editor of WAIT: Poems from the Pandemic. Her poems and reviews have appeared in many publications. She lives in South Portland, Maine. www.jeritheriault.com