Bound for a Shotgun Wedding

A Cento by Cathryn Cofell

It starts with a lump in the bride.
A nosegay of forget-me-nots to freshen up the bride.
Saint does not come from the word for bride.
Our bride of Necedah, speed traps instilled by bridehood:
quantity one bride, $9.45, paid in full. 

There is only a thread between bride and death.
Frantic bride spills coffee across the table, 
others come on like rodeo brides.
The next bride prompt is tick tock.
You spend a lot of time making sure the bride is still here,
the bride is ready to eat,
the image of bride burnt into a piece of toast. 

Now I find even brides are lies,
when I caught you in a compromising bride,
old bride on your breath and your pants falling down,
and not aged a bit in the doing of bride.
I cannot remember this bride,
this convenient bride amnesia.
I find myself in a laundromat, brides slowing turning.

There’s a bride in the world where she used to be.
When she was young, bride wore cherries in the snow.
Now a bride woman, she waits for pain pills every day.
Pray for the bride to be flat once more.

Cathryn Cofell is a poet with one full-length collection called Sister Satellite, six chapbooks, numerous awards and a music/poetry CD called Lip. She is a passionate advocate for the arts, helping to launch the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and its endowment fund, the literary journal Verse Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poetry Chapbook Prize and the Poetry Unlocked reading series.