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 of Posit ( and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.