Betsy Martin

                     Dance Like Nobody's Watching #1 | Mike Stilkey

                    Dance Like Nobody's Watching #1 | Mike Stilkey

Up Waban Hill


Up Waban Hill we walk,
side by side,
two faithful horses.
Oh, we could frolic in the hills of Tuscany
or graze in the south of France.
But, no, we're here,
in harness,
pulling our cart
up the hill
our cart
with vegetables and fruits,
fish and fowl,
and a sack of my eternal questions.
Is it good or bad
that the sky is gray today?
Does the snail long
to leave its shell?
If the apple's seed
doesn't sprout,
does the apple tree
have no meaning,
and would the apple
flourish more as a pear?
And you look straight ahead
and say, “It is.”

We reach the top
and the sky writhes,
unsure of its hue,
then turns an iridescent abalone
as we look out on the dazzling world.


Betsy Martin works at Skinner House Books in Boston. She has advanced degrees in Russian language and literature and lived in Moscow for a year studying at the Pushkin Institute. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals, including Green Hills Literary Lantern, Juked, Limestone Journal, The Louisville Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Westview, and Weber—The Contemporary West.