Patience at the Fence

Sheila E. Murphy

Always I overhear the overbearing neighbors fail to wince where I would fall back on my store of tiptoe. Radical displays of lariats and stem cells in the embassy. Integers and tatting and roan haste. The high school annual is in the basement where the husbands are. Apprentices look wary and why not? Whoever shames her twin shall splinter mirrors showing twelve long stems. Rulers leak intervals when no one looks. Continuo means too much work. The breast stroke glistens in chlorine. A tacit plastic sheeting along pool top. To smother telltale plots. The livestock populate each story while the new monks pray.

Desolations, sample size, the rose lined avenue at dusk.

Sheila E. Murphyis an American text and visual poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. She is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. Green Integer Press. 2003. Her recent book Reporting Live from You Know Where won the Hay(na)ku Poetry Book Award from Meritage Press and xPressed(ed), and was released in 2018. Broken Sleep Books just released a collection of Murphy's haibun titled As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. Murphy's home is in Phoenix, Arizona.