The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

“Seventh Sister” by R. A. Allen

After Pleiades (1919) by Arthur Bowen Davies

To find Merope in the Pleiades,
look for the tragic figure—
the one standing apart
yet leaning in for the sisterly
warmth that’s no longer proffered.
She’ll have a haunted look
about her, as if fleeing
a future with a husband
doomed to push a boulder
up a hill in Hell for eternity.

They all warned her against
this morganatic marriage
to a double-dealing criminal king.
Flippantly, she ignored their advice.
And now, even though
she’s among them in the heavens,
she shines the least
for being shunned.

R. A. Allen’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Quarterly, RHINO, The Penn Review, B O D Y, Cloudbank, Alba, and elsewhere. He has nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 2020. Fiction publications include The Literary Review, The Barcelona Review, PANK, The Los Angeles Review, and Best American Mystery Stories 2010.He lives in Memphis and was born on the same day the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism: December 26th.  More at