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Sheila Murphy

I hear the flower

more than see it. My mother

bladed the earth

to make it hospitable

for plants. Each Sunday

we ventured to hothouses

to view blossoms as inspiration.

She shielded me from colorless

daylight. I whispered back

the names of each: tuberous begonia,

daffodil, hydrangea, magnolia,

tulip, aster, dahlia.

Now in a new homeland,

I am longing to discover

apache plume, balloon vine,

Cowpen daisy, creosote bush,

desert marigold, giant trumpets, prickly pear,

mallow, horsetail milkweed, pipevine.

sand verbena, skullcap, lobelia,

sweet acacia, spiny cholla, sunflower.

There is no threading blooms.

Their beauty tenders no resignation.

I give in to what I hear.



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). Her Wikipedia page can be found at:

Photo Credit: Emilee Luke, "Blooming"

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