Awaiting Butterflies | Susie Petersiel Berg

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by Susie Petersiel Berg


24 pages | $12.00 | 978-0-9940839-7-5


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“Butterflies remind all of us who knew Eden, of Eden.”

Awaiting Butterflies is a series of poems composed for the daughter of Berg’s close friend. The girl, Eden, was first diagnosed with brain cancer at five years old, and the cancer recurred seven years later, with Eden passing away one month shy of her 13th birthday. Berg’s crisp, minimal poems trace the terror, dismay, and heartache of her experience, her friend’s, and Eden’s, ultimately rooting themselves in hope–however painful–seeking out and sharing the most intimate and minute moments of that experience.



“Eden and I Are Playing Go Fish”


She wears a pink cap to cover her bald head.

She misses her hair.

A lot.

She’s five.

There’s a tumour on her brain.


Do you have any;


She stops

and studies her cards,

points one by one, silently counting spades.




Her mother shakes with laughter,


clears away tears, touches

Eden’s chin.


You make me so very happy.

SUSIE BERG is the co-curator of the Plasticine Poetry Reading Series. She is the author of the poetry collection How to Get Over Yourself (Piquant Press, 2013), the chapbooks Paper Cuts (CreativeJames Press, 2007), and You Will Still Have Birds, a conversation in poetry with Elana Wolff (LyricalMyrical Press, 2015), and the blog The Starbucks Poetry Project. Her essays have appeared online and her poetry has appeared in such journals as carte blanche, Arts Medica, Misunderstandings Magazine, and Switchback, and in the anthologies The Mom Egg Review, Desperately Seeking Susans, and Body and Soul. She is a graduate of the summer writing programs at Humber College (2004, working with Olive Senior) and St. Francis Xavier (2006, working with Anne Simpson and 2007, working with Jeanette Lynes). Visit her online at, or follow @SusieDBerg on Twitter.