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Wednesday, April 15, 2020


by Betsy Mars

“The acre of grass is a sleeping swarm of locusts,
and in the house beside it,
tears too are mistaken” for a dark sea,
into which we dip our egg
hoping it will ignite in fertility,
that it will part, a million times—
or whatever is needed—

dividing into heart, lung, legs,
the brain and whatever refrain
we choose to utter
on this, one of the holy days,
to mark our division, and our coming together
a tribe in the end, passed over,
we find our bitter herbs
our unleavened bread

our toilet paper and paper towels shared:
the treasures of this day,
when we marked our doors,
hid inside and hoped to God
he’d pass us by.

Betsy Mars is a poet, educator, photographer, and occasional publisher. Her Kingly Street Press published its first anthology, Unsheathed: 24 Contemporary Poets Take Up the Knife, in October 2019. Her work has recently appeared in Verse-Virtual, The Blue Nib, The Ekphrastic Review, and Silver Birch Press. The daughter of a professor and a social worker, she has had a lifelong interest in issues pertaining to social justice.