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—Sheila Murphy


I take my sturdy walk each day, faster and faster

Wearing the Merrell taut soft blue I plush my way through

Residue of perspiring birds and threads of rabbit advance

My purposeful motion making room for affection

As I watch and speak to scores of people leashing along

Their tiny alter egos I compliment sans intrusion

For we are all one thing moving through

The color and the clarity young and peaceful seasoned

Wondering as though permanence were a matter

Of knowing who your mother truly was

The trees gift lush branch places for the birds to hide

Children ride in prams as parents perhaps

Make the connection between what they daily give

And what they receive, the hunger each shares

Spares no one and I wonder about what secrets

Never leave the lips of the faithful the fearful

The habitual the routine life forms that

Remind us all this moment is the sweetest sacrament

We take for granted girded as we go

Anticipating some adventure some new way

Of embracing the ephemeral breath and heartbeat

That propel us along the very green morning

That lets us shine until taut muscles say go home

We do our movements still like dance if still

If yielding to a greater universe

We know by heart and yet continue learning

As if by heart


SHEILA E. MURPHY’s most recent books are October Sequence: Sections 1-51 (mOnocle-Lash Anti-Press, 2023) and Sostenuto (Luna Bisonte Prods (2023)). Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Murphy's book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018) won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland).

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