Friday, 17 July 2020


by Betsy Mars

I wish I was as feral as you, fearing
for my children first and foremost.
What maternal instinct is lacking in me
in this pandemic-induced disloyalty?

If, in the end, they survive
and some wider spread,
all-encompassing love does not,
what world will they have inherited
that's worth living in,
virus-free or not?

And yet,
I'm not holier than thou –
maybe only that much more detached –
resigned, fatalistic to a flaw,
believing not in god
or any grand design,

but only in what science or evolution decrees,
as my world implodes and I write my latest elegy.

* * * * *

Betsy Mars is an LA-based poet, photographer, and an occasional publisher. Her chapbook, Alinea (Picture Show Press), was released in January 2019. She published the anthology, Unsheathed: 24 Contemporary Poets Take Up the Knife through Kingly Street Press in October 2019. Her writing has appeared widely online as well as in print. Her work was recently chosen by Alexandria Quarterly Press for the First Line Poetry Contest Series prize. Her poem, “Bedlam, 1982,” was selected by The Poetry Salon in June 2019 for its Practiced Poets Prize. Her photography has been published in Praxis, and RATTLE, among others.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you very much! This was toward the beginning of the pandemic and I feel like I have gone through so many stages since then, but still fearful, hopeful, unsettled, grieving.