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Saturday, December 02, 2017


by Betsy Mars

In the town where the Pilgrims settled, members of Native American tribes from around New England gathered for a solemn National Day of Mourning observance. Thursday’s noon gathering in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts,  recalled the disease, racism and oppression that European settlers brought. It’s the 48th year that the United American Indians of New England have organized the event on Thanksgiving Day. —, November 23, 2017

Released, the dream where the pipe broke,
dumping oil into the water table.
Oil and water don't mix.
In another, the peace pipe
is passed, but one person,
or even a whole class,
refuses to share

or worse still—
turns it into a war drum.
Sticks and stones might break
my bones but names will be
thrown around haphazardly

igniting flames, festering old wounds,
clouding the discussion.
Run interference and divert.
Take up the cross. Toss that medicine,
man, unless you can afford it.

When you're on the trail
of tears, rub salt in the wounded.
Kneeling is a sin before football,
but not before God.

In God we trust, unless we're native
American, or any “other.”
The dreamcatcher is broken;
nightmares run rampant.

Betsy Mars is a poet, educator, mother and animal lover who spent part of her early childhood in Brazil. This experience led to an early awareness of income disparity, linguistic and cultural differences, as well as a love for travel and language. Her work has appeared in The Rise Up Review, The California Quarterly, The Ekphrastic Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among others.