Fall 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. IV, No. 3


Poetry    Translations    Fiction    Essays   

Margaret S. Mullins


Family Constellation

Under the vast darkness,
the oldest remembers the rundown house,
their father's drinking, war ration books.
The middle one talks of notes to fairies,
building a raft, saddling TallyHo.
The youngest remembers Girl Scouts,
homecoming dances, all the happy times.
They shift in their sleeping bags;
the youngest thinks she hears a bear
and the other two laugh
as Orion stands guard over the tent.
They talk of fireflies and the sleeping porch,
of raking rotten apples,
of deep snow and chess on winter nights.
Fifty years since they shared a bedroom,
giggling and picking at wallpaper lambs.
Forty years since they shared sweaters
and kept secrets.
Thirty years since life's rainbows
drew them across different oceans.
Twenty years since they cried long distance
over divorces and diagnoses.
Ten years since the thunder and lightning in them
turned to gentler rain.
And just a year since their mother died
and they vowed to tend the sterling bond
of the trinity she forged,
Orion watching from the night sky.



He was a brilliant, angry, funny man
who had always hated cats. He cursed them,
hissed at them, rattled his tools at them.
For eighty-five years he railed against them,
their arrogance, their uselessness, their devious ways.
And then, when he came to die at my house,
my cat jumped onto his bed and settled in.
He growled and grumbled about damned cats,
but she stayed, and I watched as he softened.
He hand-fed her scraps of his meals; she nuzzled his chin.
He scratched her ears and she purred into his.
When he was awake, she curled into his elbow
And when he slept, she laid her soft head on his bony shoulder.
She never left him until, quietly, he left.


© Margaret S. Mullins



Poetry    Translations    Fiction    Essays   

Website Copyright © 2008 by Loch Raven Review.

Copyright Notice and Terms of Use: This website contains copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to, text, photographs, and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board. or otherwise transmit, distribute, or modify any contents of this website in any way, except that you may download one copy of such contents on any single computer for your own personal non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, poet, author, or artist attribution, or any other proprietary notices.