Editing a Life by Helen Beer

Editing a Life

Editing a Life

by Helen Beer

Two pages, five positions, thirty-seven years.
One and a half pages, three positions, twenty-nine years.
One and a quarter pages, two positions, eighteen years.
And, just like that, two decades of experience, the
big picture of your life’s work, the diversity of your
background? Yes, all those elements have been edited,
erased, all in the hopes of muting the obvious: it took
you multiple decades to arrive where you find yourself
now, an “over-qualified” woman with “too much
experience,” and an escalating, well-deserved,
fully commensurate salary history. You’ve joined the
growing ranks of the unemployed, disproportionately
represented by women, thanks to COVID-19, yes; but
thanks also to new, heartless, hedge fund owners (redundant),
who carpet-bombed the ranks of your last employer, in a
short-sighted, greedy attempt to increase profit margins,
the human toll be damned.
You’re a fully qualified woman with much left to offer, worth
your weight in gold, forced to hide that worth, yet unwilling
to sling burgers again, forty-seven years removed from that
position, one of four that wouldn’t have fit on page three, if
there was a page three, which there wasn’t.
Full stop.


Helen’s poetry and prose have appeared in Literary Potpourri, FRiGG, Typishly, Flash Fiction Magazine, Persimmon Tree, The First Line, 101 Words, Sky Island Journal, STORGY Magazine, Haunted Waters Press, The Write Launch, Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal, Prometheus Dreaming, Defenestration, Sisyphus, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Dreamers Creative Collective. She also had a non-fiction piece published in the Nervous Ghost Press anthology, “Writing for Life,” and has been known to dabble in screenwriting.

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