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November 15, 2012

The Wise One

I "met" this poem's author when she edited an anthology to which I submitted some work a few years ago. Sometimes, even just with a brief email, you feel and know that you are in the presence of someone special. That is certainly the case with poet Margaret Mullins. Her book of poems Family Constellation was published this year by Finishing Line Press. I still remember the afternoon (at least 20 years ago) when I wrote in my journal that I believe constellations are the best metaphor to "define" families.  When Margaret's Family Constellation was published, I had to have it! It is a jewel of a book. I'll be posting more of Margaret's work, but I like this poem so much, I want it to appear on its own.

Photo, Ysabel de la Rosa

by Margaret Mullins

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.
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.

Poem, copyright Margaret S. Mullins. Previously published in Loch Raven Review.

Margaret Mullins studied international public health at Johns Hopkins and writing at the University of Maryland and has worked in health projects, public affairs and housing rehabilitation in the U.S. and Latin America. She is the editor of the anthology MANORBORN. Her work has appeared in Prairie Poetry, Loch Raven Review, Welter, New Voice News, Manorborn, Sun, and Chesapeake Reader.

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