No silver lining



"Irene has shining golden hair,

And fame and glory without end,

And greater wealth than even she

Could ever find a way to spend.


But Beth cannot afford to buy

What goes beyond her basic needs.

She must make do with what she has

And squeeze each penny till it bleeds.


Which woman hates her empty days?

Whose sadness makes her hard and mean?

Who yearns and yearns to change her life?

I’m sorry, but . . . it’s not Irene.''


-- "Irene and Beth,'' by Felicia Nimue Ackerman