by Barry Basden

They come for us just as we are leaving our lakeside villa, sold this morning for cash, a pittance in foreign currency. We escape by boat, all that we cherish in valises and sewn into our coats. We stand in the stern, watching tiny men scurry down the expanse of green to the beach below the house. We see flashes. You touch my hand and say something, but it breaks apart in the wind. You lift your arm and wave a fleeting goodbye. I think of your gardens, the swans, our world turning over. But things could be far worse, and we move across the waves toward distant mountains, blue with snow in their afternoon shade. We will take the night train. We will find a place.

Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country with his wife and two yellow Labs. His writing has appeared in many fine places. He is coauthor of CRACK! AND THUMP: WITH A COMBAT INFANTRY OFFICER IN WORLD WAR II and edits Camroc Press Review.


  1. A great piece, this. It is both particular and general. For a person of my generation, I see a Jewish family fleeing the Nazis. No doubt a family friend -- an Iraqi -- sees a family fleeing Saddam.

  2. I just finished reading Robert Stone's A Flag for Sunrise for about the 10th time, and this gives me that same eerie feeling of all that has gone wrong.