Taxonomy of Shields


June 20, 2021 by The Citron Review

by Erin Murphy


Plastic eyepatch after cataract surgery.
Burglar alarms, pepper spray, air bags.
Antibacterial wipes, vitamins, a seat
in first class. School buses full of bullet-
proof backpacks. Foreheads crossed with ash.
How we try to inoculate ourselves against
being shattered in a world made of glass.


Erin Murphy’s eighth book of poems, Human Resources, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Georgia Review, Southern Poetry Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her awards include The Normal School Poetry Prize, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and a Best of the Net award. She is Professor of English at Penn State Altoona and serves as Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review. Website:



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