Tim Murphy

For These Brief Moments

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

I measure time by the angle
dim slivers of light enter my room
each morning from behind
ever-closed curtains, by the way
their faint glow subtly shifts
through the day, until it fades
beyond the reach of dusk.

Six months bedbound, I lose track
of the natural world, the only place
I didn’t question if I belonged.
But strains of it still drift
through walls in birdsong,
distant banter of crows,
whispered echoes of rain.

Spring’s finches grow
chummy in summer.
Each day, around noon
settling on the windowsill
just above my head, bathing
in the warmth of the sun
for much of the afternoon.

I can’t see them
but hear soft scraping
of claws scamper about,
occasional fluttering of wings,
bickerings over who sits where.
And for these brief moments
I am not lonely.

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About the Author

Tim Murphy (he/him) is a disabled, bisexual attorney, environmentalist, and poet who lives in Portland, Oregon. Tim is bedbound with Long COVID and ME, and his writing primarily explores disability and the more-than-human world. His poetry appears in CERASUS Magazine, Honeyguide Literary Magazine, Writers Resist, The Insurgence, The Long COVID Reader, and more. Tim is on Instagram and Twitter @brokenwingpoet.