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Betsy Mars

Betsy Mars practices poetry, photography, pet maintenance, and publishes an occasional anthology through Kingly Street Press which she founded in 2019. In 2020, her poem was selected as a winner in Alexandria Quarterly´s first line poetry contest series. Her poetry has appeared in Sky Island Journal, One Art, and Autumn Sky, as well as numerous anthologies and journals. Her photos have been featured in Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Spank the Carp, and Praxis. Betsy is the author of Alinea (Picture Show Press) and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night with Alan Walowitz (Arroyo Seco Press).

Christmas Cactus

I say and I know what you’re thinking –

another poem about resilience,

comebacks, flowering in cold times,

but this is not the cactus of your imagining –

full and abundant, a cascade of green

and bursting buds – the red and green

of childhood holiday dreams.

This one is thin, just a handful of limbs –

leaves pale droppings in the window box

from overwatering or negligence.

I barely glance at it anymore

except to wonder when it will collapse

like the basket it arrived in.

Yet. You knew there was a yet.

This morning, (and tonight is Christmas eve),

we have rain and looking out the window,

I couldn’t help but see the ends swelling and pinkening –

almost enough to make the atheist in me believe.

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