Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, a photographer, and an editor at Gyroscope Review. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. Recent publications include ONE ART, Rat’s Ass Review, Minyan, and The New Verse News. Her photos have been published in Rattle (as the Ekphrastic Challenge prompt), Redheaded Stepchild, and as a cover image for Spank the Carp. Her chapbooks are Alinea and In the Muddle of the Night, which was co-authored with Alan Walowitz. In addition, she recently collaborated with artist Judith Christensen on an installation which is part of an ongoing exploration of memory, identity, home, and family.
The scent of smoke no longer lingers
in my hair. Upon my pillow I hoped
to find some proof, a whiff
of that distant night of burning.
Just two days ago we stood
in vestiges of snow,
bundled up before the rusty barrel,
feeding the fire with bits of our week:
boxes, receipts, cardboard carriers,
food containers, some relics of strife
we blundered through.
We watched the flames dwindle,
stirred, rearranged the scraps
of our past, stepped back and waited
for the flames to leap up again
from the glowing center below,
secretly nourished by air,
the propellent of each other.