All in by Eileen Murphy

by Eileen Murphy

1.         The surgery was soundless as shadows on grass.

2.         I am knifed and stiff as I lie in the brown bed at dusk.

3.         My dreams flap tired nightgowns.

4.         The first autumn leaves–letters cut out of yellow ochre-colored paper.

5.         Geese overhead honk loudly, like an emergency vehicle.

6.         I dream a pothos vine snakes down a wooden staircase.

7.         I untangle it.

8.         I dream five warts on my big toe. 

9.         I pour acid on them. Will that get rid of them?

10.       The ice cream truck plays “Turkey in the Straw” through the neighborhood. Every afternoon.

11.       Touch me. Today my face is a blanket.

12.       I saw a black racer snake in the back yard.

13.       It wasn’t bothering anyone.

14.       It slid from Point A to Point B, one clump of weeds to the other.

15.       Listen, sick woman, listen–way back to when you minnowed around the block.


Eileen Murphy lives near Tampa with her husband and three dogs and teaches literature/English at Polk State College. She’s a poet, reviewer, visual artist, and staff writer for Cultural Weekly magazine. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she’s published poetry in Tinderbox (nominated for Pushcart Prize), Thirteen Myna Birds, Rogue Agent, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, and a number of other journals. Her website is