Betsy Mars – Accounting

Betsy Mars LEP&W V3 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three December 2022.

Accounting, poems by Betsy Mars.


The mysterious depths of the front seat
underspace, where, when necessary
to break up a fight or monotony,
my mother would reach and pluck out
another book or toy from the bargain bin.
None survived the cross-country trip
and only one remains in memory.

Maybe all those notebook entries
(Kids’ toys 25 cents)
are now accounted for,
but only the rubber dachshund
lingers – his maple skin like taffy,
body so slim, pliable
in my child hands still learning
to handle harder things.


You don’t have to understand
said the noise inside my head
or was it God
to my sleeping mind, pen
afraid to put one word
in front of another again.

A dream of forward
I had no paper to lay out
a map for my life
and blundered ahead
dropping ink
like litter
to find my way back.

Dusk Downpour During Pandemic

We shelter, gauging the weather
by the urgency of the windchimes.

Suburban house, concrete drive
cracking. Broken foundation a frenzy
of ants in rain-sodden nurseries,
dragging their eggs to drier ground.

The sail that shades the sun in summer
billows in this muddied spring –
a triangle pinned to termite-infested beams –
while our marriage splits in two,

deaths multiply. Another siren screams nearby.
I’ve seen the tents outside the hospital,
the rivulets, the overflow we’ve carried
on without resistance, listen to the squall.

© Betsy Mars

Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, a nascent photographer, an editor at Gyroscope Review, and an occasional small publisher. Her poetry has recently appeared or is upcoming in ONE ART, Sheila-Na-Gig, Panoply, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others. In 2021 Betsy’s poems were nominated for Best of the Net as well as the Pushcart prize.  Her photos have appeared in RATTLE’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Redheaded Stepchild, Red Flag Poetry, and Spank the Carp. Betsy is the author of Alinea (Picture Show Press) and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night (Arroyo Seco Press) with Alan Walowitz.

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