Before youth and beauty fade
We’re oblivious to

Women of a certain age

Until our mothers’ faces appear
Like Bolsheviks in the mirror 

And the palace ransacked

Now we are dispossessed aristocrats at sea 
The startled émigrés 

Judging one another’s valise

Patting coat cuffs for hidden jewels
Discovering we are hem-rent
Largesse spent


Into this unwelcome berth


Margaret Bentley has published in New Flash Fiction Review, Hobart, and The Hidden Star. She was associate editor on the last four Sudden Fiction and Flash Fiction anthologies (W. W. Norton). Since 2012, she’s designed and led writing workshop retreats for a creative nonprofit. She lives between far west Texas and Austin where she raised her children in a house with a piece of 1400-year-old pottery. Margaret is part owner of a honkytonk.


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