Bio Note: As we enter the second year of the pandemic, despite what these poems might suggest, I am feeling positive about the future and even some aspects of the present. This period of enforced isolation and slowing down, I am finding that I am re-prioritizing and even more reflective, which in part enables me to focus on the natural world, and the people for whom I am grateful, including so many in this community.
Jack Gets Dusty
Uncle Jack still exists on magnetic tape, but the VHS no longer works. I took him to a specialty shop to have him transferred to a modern format, and he came back with a hole in his middle, but I don’t think he feels it – not in his windowed envelope on the fireplace – gathering dust until I can face his wry voice and broad face again, heavier in the brow, but so much like my father’s.
Originally published in Misfit Magazine (with minor differences)
Once you’ve worked in a morgue, smelled the putrid smells, inhaled the exhales of dead flesh and stomach contents, opened mouths clamped in rigor mortis and closed unseeing eyes, can you be light? Can you illuminate the cause and time of death? Each blue body your future, confronting and affronting your nostrils and dreams. A cold slap in the face of denial, and anger, and all of those other stages of grief, which are just steppingstones to acceptance, as the world empties of the ones you love.
Originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig (with minor differences)
©2021 Betsy Mars
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