mars door
by Betsy Mars

The lower half is ornately carved,
fading under the filtered sunlight –
the fault lines of so many years

starved, of slamming doors, exits
and returns, trying to salvage
marriage again and again,
or just endure,

as disappointment
and need gave way

to grief, and then denial,
acceptance, before the final letting go.
But we’re isolated here together –

grieving again or still,
though the stained glass
the upper half is cracked –
and we coexist behind it,

still making do, still paired,
locked down against our will,
yet the amber light
flowing through still falls

warmly on the worn floor,
still draws a line
between them and me and you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, an educator, photographer, and recent publisher whose first release, Unsheathed: 24 Contemporary Poets Take Up the Knife, came out in October 2019. Her work has been in The Blue Nib, The Ekphrastic Review, Panoplyzine, and Rattle (photography), to name a few. Her first chapbook, Alinea (Picture Show Press), came out in January 2019.