Bitter Brunches by Betsy Mars

Bitter Brunches

All those Mother’s Day brunches begrudged
as we sat in our anger and self-righteousness,

judged your defects – not celebrating
for a moment in all our perfect holiness.

And now I bow my head, repent, often
alone on those Hallmark Sundays

when my children, too, resent
the unspoken demand

for elevation and forgiveness,
for flowers and kisses

which I secretly pray
might finally bear witness

so I can pretend for a day
that I had been a better mother.


Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, a photographer, and publishes an occasional anthology through Kingly Street Press. She is an assistant editor at Gyroscope Review. Poetry publications include Rise Up Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, New Verse News, Sky Island, and Minyan. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. Betsy’s photos have been featured in RATTLE’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Spank the Carp, Praxis, and Redheaded Stepchild. She is the author of Alinea and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night with Alan Walowitz.

6 thoughts on “Bitter Brunches by Betsy Mars

    1. Thank you, Thomas. It is very hard to confront sometimes. Fortunately, usually something good often comes along to counterbalance the pain.

    1. I just found these comments. I am really touched, especially by the “as always.” Thank you, Laurie.

    1. Thank you, Katrina. The kind of daily minor tragedies we all experience that can add up to some deep suffering and regret. I really appreciate your taking time to read and comment.

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