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Two Poems

by Carol Berg

A Field Guide to Sorrows: The Lascaux Woman

What else with my endless time but the gnarled naming. I dislike this job sometimes so many sorrows in my mouth. Little blue darlings. I burst their skin under my canine teeth. He is so eager with his gifts of habitat of range. Description: Crunch of Eyes Turning Away. Description: just one more Slip on the Slick Ice of Remembering. Description: combination of the Sorrow of Sedum and the Sweet Smell of Damp Grass. Description: His Eyes become Small Sharp Flies.

Footprints from someone else and I was not well-furred for it. The path was silent. What did I think I would find, my dead mother asks me always from the caves of Lascaux she running with the moon-soaked reindeer. I sew my sorrows with needles carved from brittle bones of stars.

Warrior Woman Wants to be a Warrior to Her Heart

but doesn’t know which karate kick to choose or what to plant her foot against to keep her heart’s guard. She thinks of her cousin the yellow swallowtail butterfly frail winged and holy warrior to the wind each flap the right calibration to adjust its flight she thinks of the spider trapeze artist of the web dangle artist the I-can-get-out-of-any-upside-down-adventure artist and yet she has no metronome synchronicity with any natural beat like the fireflies who flash their electrical pulses together some mutual hand clap an insectual audience of green applause. Still, she practices her punches in the long mirror feet apart knuckles turned out wrists taut.

I’m doing this all for you she tells her heart trying to quiet the running rhythm as it pounds pounds his name against the pillow against the sheet against the temple of her head.

Carol Berg’s poems appear in The Journal, Spillway, Redactions, Pebble Lake Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and Verse Wisconsin. Her poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. Her most recent chapbook, Her Vena Amoris, is available from Red Bird Chapbooks.

Lead image: “Spider dangle” (via Flickr user Toby)

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