Two Poems by Betsy Mars

Cactus Embrace*

Your arms spread out like cactus
and I rush in, wanting
to learn the ways of holding
water, of not shriveling
under the withering gaze,
of thriving in sandy, shifting soil.

*after a line by Melissa Studdard from her poem “Inside the Beige Brick House, the Beige Rooms.”


Seasonal Bowl of Mixed Nuts

Always on my parents’ table,
and that’s how I came to know them:
by their shells, smooth shiny filberts,
the pocked teardrop of the almond,
the way the walnut broke into halves
under pressure of the rusty nutcracker,
revealed its meat, the lungs
cloven by the tough membrane.
The triangular Brazil nut and its sharp edges,
almost impenetrable exterior, such a fat nugget
if you could get through to it.


Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, photographer, publisher (Kingly Street Press), and currently an assistant editor at Gyroscope Review. In 2021 she was nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Betsy’s photos have been featured in RATTLE’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Spank the Carp, Praxis, and Redheaded Stepchild.

Leave a Reply