Every Time

by Peter E. Murphy

The way the tide rubbed up against the beach,
the sand thought it was a friend. It lay there
dumb as a child while the current brushed it,

then moved in hard, covering the grains,
turning them sticky, mudlike. When the tide
slipped away and the sun blasted in,

the sand tried to hold itself together,
even as it wanted to fall apart,
even as it was falling apart,

and said fine.
I’m fine.


Peter E. Murphy is the author of Stubborn Child, a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize, and three chapbooks of poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in The Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Green Mountains Review, The Journal, The Lindenwood Review, The Literary Review, Rattle, Rhino, Witness, and elsewhere. He is the founder of Murphy Writing of Stockton University.

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