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Heidi Stephens
This poem is about a statue on the corner of 2nd North and Court streets. I often drive or walk past the statue. I have a great affection for it.

One day, as I was walking by, I noticed that the right hand of the Christ child was gone, and I found something unsettling and moving about that. I first thought, “Who would break the hand off of Baby Jesus?” Then I started thinking about it in a symbolic way, too, because the statue speaks for different aspects of the North Side.

It’s a landmark, a reminder of the Catholic presence on the North Side, and the sign of the disrepair that’s so common today. And then I was also thinking of it in terms of mothers and children affected by violence and poverty, and the potential that exists in the children despite it all.

North side Madonna
bears the child who reaches out
with his broken hand

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