Mrs. Bennet Remembers
“The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
I was bright and sparkling once.
He could remember if he tried.
I played and danced,
Had dozens of beaux.
But marriage comes
And flirtation goes.
And lively young ladies
Take up menus and keys,
Turn into housekeepers,
No longer trim their hats.
One must set a good table,
See the linens are mended.
And then what is left but visiting and news
And watching one’s daughters
Dance at the balls?
In my room, I’d listen for his horse,
Rush to the mirror,
Pinch my cheeks to make them pink.
At the landing, I’d stop,
Smooth my hair,
Adjust my brooch.
And then descend with stately step,
My heart jumping and dancing within me.
Martie Collins’s poems and fiction have been published in The Schuylkill Valley Journal, Mad Poets Review, and Persimmon Tree, and she has given poetry readings and conducted poetry workshops. Her blogs are Woodstock Churchlady, on spirituality and religion, and Meet the McDonalds, a fiction family sitcom. Her day jobs have included legal secretary, church secretary, Weight Watcher’s lecturer, welfare caseworker, and adjunct English instructor. Her three children have grown up and left home, but she, her husband, and two cats remain in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.