French Horn
by Sheila Murphy

The mouthpiece matched her modesty.
You could feel her meld of confidence with hesitation
as she pressed the tiny metal to her lips
to form a tone as mellow as a faun.
Her hand held the bell that shone in pale sunlight.
She kissed the notes that swirled together, 
leaving legato pleasure in the room. 
A music innocent as her young hands 
lingered as she tucked the warm brass tubing
into the blue velvet case and closed the latch.

Sheila E. Murphy has authored 44 books of poetry and numerous chapbooks. Most recently, in 2020, Luna Bisonte Prods released Golden Milk. Murphy's book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018) won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory (2018). Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). As an active collaborator, she has worked with Douglas Barbour on an extended poem called Continuations. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Hanging Loose, Marsh Hawk Review, and numerous other places. Her papers are included in the Avant Collection, Rare Books, Ohio State University. Murphy lives in Phoenix, Arizona.