Plumming by Betsy Mars

plums, still life, artist unknown plumbing betsy mars

My inheritance of prunes:
one and a half bags, unfinished.
Eaten ritualistically daily
to avoid constipation.

Also dates. Two tubs, Medjool.
Minerals and fiber-rich.
Five prunes and three dates
to start each morning

sweetly, with expectation:
this is how the day will go,
movingly. Dried fruits almost
primal, handed down

with his last possessions.
The things he touched:
now I eat them daily,
tasting only sweetness.


First published in Illya’s Honey.



Betsy Mars is a Connecticut-born, mostly California-raised poet and educator. Her parents gave her an early appreciation for language and social justice, which her childhood years in Brazil reinforced. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from USC which she puts to no obvious use. A mother, avid traveler, and animal lover, her work has recently appeared in Tuck Magazine, Writing in A Woman’s Voice, and The Ekphrastic Review, as well as in a number of anthologies and the California Quarterly.


Painting: Plums, Still Life, artist unknown.

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