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Monday, June 22, 2020


by Betsy Mars

Cartoon by Matt Davies, Newsday

“Brands Pretend They Just Learned Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's Are Racist” 
VICE, June 18, 2020

Stripped of her name
and branded,
her onyx pearls
one by one.
Corporate fathers
take a knee
in insincere
A belated Mea Culpa,
treacle spilling
from the lips of execs
once the deck was stacked
like flapjacks, they scurried,
transparent as lace,
finely collared,
ready to erase
the mammy
they embraced
in the race to be virtuous,
awakened just in time—
the tortoise at the finish line—
when it impacts their bottom line.

Betsy Mars is a poet, educator (prior to the pandemic), photographer, and occasional publisher. She is currently working on her second anthology to be released by her press, Kingly Street Press, this summer. She is also finishing a book co-written with friend and poet Alan Walowitz entitled In the Muddle of the Night, coming soon from Arroyo Seco Press. She has one chapbook, Alinea (Picture Show Press), to her name, as well as numerous publications on the web and in anthologies, most recently in Verse-Virtual, The Blue Nib, Kissing Dynamite, and The Poetry Super Highway. Her childhood years in Brazil gave her a deep appreciation for language and culture, a love of travel, and an early awareness of the disparities that exist throughout the world.