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.