Nesting Dolls by Carly Berg

1) Mother was a venus figurine in her youth. Her rampant sex parts got her filled, then receded. Now she’s full, a vessel with a passel, a birch marsupial. Promoted, demoted, children are boring miracles. Their fathers ran off but she got a face and some clothes. No limbs.

The children echo her growth rings. Each that she was, she still is within, a mama diorama through time. She straightens her blood red apron, turns back to the cookfire.

2) Miss- There’s barely room for her curvy warp between the mother barrel and straight-sided Girl. Miss hates her mother’s house. If she gets a chance, she’ll roll off and do something better. She’s not sure what’s better.

3) Girl- On her report card, the teacher wrote: Works hard. Clever. Obedient. Excellent posture.

4) Little girl- Twirls in the cold sun, a ballerina, a tornado.

5) Baby girl- Love me or I’ll die.


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