Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 


Poetica Magazine, Contemporary Jewish Writing


Betsy Mars is a poet, photographer, and publisher. Her press published the anthology Unsheathed in October 2019. Poetry can be found online. Her chapbook, Alinea, was released in January 2019, and In the Muddle of the Night, with Alan Walowitz, is due later in 2020.

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Für die kinder 
Betsy Mars

Für die kinder my great grandmother
must have also said,her soft arms swaying
as she waved me to the table,
cajoling me to eat, eat,

and I gave in, despite my calorie-counting
ways as she set before me heaping bowls
of ice cream,a little melon.

She piled my plate and watched
as I ate in her eager, alien way,
the powdered smell
of her florid skin holding sway.

Conversation was limited
by language and my lack of interest,
as I adopted my grandfather’s disdain.

I saw her on my yearly visits
to family in the east – her Yiddish
grating to my ear, these unwelcome
feasts. Now I wonder
what her life must have been
to cast that hungry look my way.


*Inspired by the poem Für die kinder by Alan Walowitz