Sheila Murphy

The Family Closes

The family closes ranks.
She was loved once
removed. Now
her reflexes grow poor,

yield to new fear,
as he becomes attractive.
Shame hurts the wholeness
in tired limbs,

no longer touched,
whose touchstone
has gone missing,
and may be replaced

by how it was
with all of them
before her, advancing
and in wait.

Between Sizes

Everywhere refuses
to be touched.
The softer often

of this mid-range
found by living
with prospective knowing

as though
the elements
had some choice.

Sheila E. Murphy is presently at work on a manuscript of new poems, in addition to creating a series of drawings for an exhibition. Murphy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she has led her eponymous consulting firm for the past 20+ years.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.