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Two Poems by Betsy Martin

The Biosphere

This storm is strange for Tucson,
the frigid rain
sprayed down
the way the gardener
hoses bird excrement
from the bricks.

The purple teeth
of the mountains glisten
darkly as we make our way down
the sleet-strewn paths
toward Biosphere 2.

My dear friend Randy,
in shirtsleeves,
red-cheeked from the chilly raw wind,
his white hair wild as a bleached tumbleweed, whoops,
I love it, I love it, I love it!,
and tosses his head like a young stallion,
almost losing his balance,
while the rest of us shiver in coats.
He carries his bad arm close,
a crooked branch
struck by lightning.

Under the dome,
scientists, like minor deities,
experiment with the effects
of climate on flora and fauna;
what will thrive,
what will wither.


Where she is now

In my heart,
of course;
in my face,
they say;
in my head,
hanging pictures
in the art gallery,
small and distinctive,
she could have curated,
instead of pushing a broom around the kitchen,
her dissertation gathering dust,
and saying,
as mothers do,
I’m happy with my life,
I’m happy with my life.


about the author:

Betsy Martin has published poetry in Atlanta Review, Cloudbank, Diverse Voices Quarterly (Best of the Net nomination), Green Hills Literary Lantern, Juked, The Louisville Review, Weber—The Contemporary West, and many others. She works at Skinner House Books in Boston and has advanced degrees in Russian language and literature.

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