Deborah Murphy


In the grey hour of grief,

leave the ashes on the mantle.

Let the widow in her tiara

and dirty slippers sleep on the sofa,

her life measured in rough sand

falling through a torn sieve.


The blue world spins on.


Let her wake

to the great northern loon,

its black throat open, calling

from the heart of the lake,

a tremolo rising against

the dipping shadows, waiting

for an answer.



Deborah Murphy’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Connecticut River Review, Concrete Wolf and Flash!point. Holding a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from Tufts University, she lives in Amherst, New Hampshire, where she works as a freelance writer and as a writing instructor.