From the archives – If I Must Paint You a Picture — Joannie Stangeland

If I Must Paint You a Picture

Beloved, I bloom for you,
a little deer,
your fawn in the forest,

my spots turned now
to roses, pierced
by your barbs,

my head and my hard pride
caught on this tender body,
these four slender legs.

See, I will run between
the dry trees, the limbs
severed, the last
branches already down.

For you I will flee
through the woods
I lived in so freely
before you bent

to one stiff knee
and strung your bow.

from Autumn Sky Poetry 23 — by Joannie Stangeland

after Frida Kahlo’s “The Wounded Deer.” 1946. Oil on masonite. Collection of Carolyn Farb, Houston, Texas.

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