Edith’s Family Portrait, 1974

by Catherina Barrett

Grandma Edith chains the fridge shut,
she’s on a diet. In the attic, Louise eats a can
of mushroom soup. Joan heaves
her mattress out a second-story window.
Grandpa Albert is working another
eighty-hour week in Boston.

Lydia, my mother, scales the bricks
to her window; Louise locks the window
when she sees her. Mary,
on the low-sloped roof with
a patch of turf for her rabbit, watches as

Frank, the oldest, coaxes
the little kids–Kathrine, Alice, Will, Midge–
into the rabbit cages with a whip.


Catherina Barrett is entering the poetry world. She just began an MFA at Saint Joseph’s University in Brooklyn, NY. This is her first publication.

Image: Shaylyn

Image description: the front door of a red brick two-story house with white trim and blue steps.