June 22, 2022 by The Citron Review

by Lori Barrett


Ingredients: water (up to 60%); fine lines (rhytids); not-so-fine lines (wrinkles); sagging skin (wrinkle folds); new dermatology vocabulary; thinning hair (where it was once thick); thickening hair (where there was once none); face oil; hyaluronic serum; day cream; night cream; under-eye cream; body butter; foot cream; hand cream; eyeglasses (scattered in more than one location); accumulation of scarves; lost eyeglasses (buried by scarves); undefinable flailing (exercise) while attempting YouTube workout; sore knee (inflammation); sore elbow (arthritis?); sore shoulder (slouching while binge watching TV); tin of weed gummies in underwear drawer (5 mg); wine extract; kombucha extract; very particular about IPAs (known to say, Could be more bitter); husband nearby who says, The only sweet thing she likes is me; nightsweats; snores; career disappointment (including but not limited to: two layoffs); minimum wage job; litmag rejections; could be more bitter; on second thought, very bitter (disagreeable); moaning noises about lack of writing space at home; wandering to elder child’s room to create office space; retreat (comic book extract); empty nest; ability to blend into any background (invisible to young people and men); terminally ill parent; loneliness (state of solitude); dog (to replace children who flew the nest); husband was here somewhere; perhaps under scarves?


Lori Barrett (she/her) lives and writes in Chicago. Her reported and creative writing has appeared in Salon, Bustle, The Wall Street Journal, JMWW, Barrelhouse, BULL, and Middle House Review, where she was nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020. She serves as an assistant fiction editor at Pithead Chapel. Twitter @LoriMBarrett.



3 thoughts on “CRONE

  1. Culture Bean says:

    Yep. Captured it all. Thank you from Evanston.

  2. Aunt Pat says:

    Love this poignant, funny, heartbreaking essay. Thank you, Lori Barrett.

  3. CRONE. Is what it is. All ingredients are pure. Thank you for sharing them so beautifully!

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