The pale blue of the forget-me-not
was a small Vermeer painting of
the corner of a sky in my childhood
backyard, in the corner, next to the bramble
of blackberries and brooding pine trees where I
hid and watched the piece
of the sky I called mine.
I never played the game
where you call a cloud by what
it resembles—I named my
clouds. There on the ground
the forget-me-nots watched
me, I thought. But now you’ve
purchased all the rakes, the pruners,
the spades, and the trowels, tilled
our backyard, built raised
beds and planted Swiss Chard,
dozens of various garlics, and
broccoli. Now in the front yard
I try to claim as my own,
I want only large flowers:
peonies that could fill bras, spikes
of gladioli, the tallest tulips,
wild orange turbans spinning
in the sunshine.
Now I want black dragon
hibiscus, delphiniums, the sacred lotus.
I want to slip underneath their petals,
believe for a minute
I’m swimming under a current of silk.
Carol Berg is an editor at Heron Tree and her poems are forthcoming or in DMQ Review, Sou’wester, The Journal, Spillway, Redactions, Radar Poetry, Verse Wisconsin, and in the anthologies A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems and Bigger Than They Appear: An Anthology of Very Small Poems. Her chapbook, Her Vena Amoris (Red Bird Chapbooks), is available and her chapbooks, Ophelia Unraveling and The Ornithologist Poems are available from dancing girl press. She was winner of a scholarship to Poets on the Coast and a recipient of a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.