Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 23 . . .

If I Must Paint You a Picture

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

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.


Joannie Stangeland’s new collection, Into the Rumored Spring, was published by Ravenna Press. Joannie is also the author of two poetry chapbooks, and her poems have recently appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Midwest Quarterly, and Chiron Review.


© 2011 Joannie Stangeland