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Four Poems

By Donald Berger

Poetry

 

Seven Reasons Why Babies Cry

 

There isn’t anything to read.
The season is not their favorite season.
They want to make new, fast friends.
The soup is way too hot.
The horses are never in view.
The service is slow.
They’re ecstatic.

 

 

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As Possible

 

All you can think is
“When is he going to kiss her?”
Even while he’s out killing people
With his arrows.
Cate Blanchett’s
Lady Marian to the t,
Out ploughing the field
Of Nottingham, and worrying where all the
Seed’s going to come from.

 

From overhead it always shows where they are
On the coast of France or in a village
About to burn.  Life looks
Hard there, the father can’t see
And tells Robin to come closer
So he can see him, meaning with his fingers
Feel his face.

 

And even when he Robin puts Marian’s booted
Foot into the stirrup, and she feels the vibe,
They look at each other and keep riding
Places, next to each other.  More on this
As it comes.  Friar Tuck has bees and makes
The honeyed wine.  They put a nice piece
Of cloth over the crown when Robin hands it
To the queen, that the King is dead, that’s it.
Where men sing, bouncing around.
They ride through the surf and somewhere
Get the horses into the boat.

 

 

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Alison,

 

Did you know Pinocchio takes Gepetto
out of a shark not a whale
and when they swim a mile to the other end
the shark, of old age, sleeps
with its mouth open
and the man and boy escape
much more easily than they expected?

 

And at a later time when
Pinocchio reads
and writes in the evening,
he can’t afford ink
so he uses cherry juice?

 

And that the doll is much better looking
than the face of the boy it becomes,
and that after the boy knows
he is a boy, the doll stays there with him
lifelessly, propped against a wooden chair,
and on the wall it’s the shadow of the doll’s face we see
in place of the boy’s?

 

 

 

 

Donald Berger is the author of The Long Time, a bilingual edition in English and German (Lost Roads Publishers) and The Cream-Filled Muse (Fledermaus Press). His poems and prose have appeared in The New Republic, Slate, Conjunctions. and other magazines including some from Berlin, Leipzig, Budapest, Hong Kong, and mainland China. He currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University.

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