Nonfat Dry Milk

Bridget Murphy


We drank Starlac warm with lumps.

If we were lucky, Mom would make it

the night before. In July, Dad

took us to the backyard, pointing up


at the dark sky, dew on our bare feet. 

If we had the internet,


we could’ve researched

that the moon measures time,

that Carnation tastes best.

Starlac didn’t make the list.

How was I to know

that milk came in cold quarts?


that you need rock salt to make ice cream?

On Saturdays, Leah Rose Cutter

and her mom took me to the book mobile.

We listened to the radio:


“Everyone’s gone

to the moon.” Leah cracked


her books, a pile of scrambled

eggs, licked her plate.


Mrs Cutter asked if I wanted

bologna or cheese. I said,


either would be fine. She said

people who don’t say


what they want around here,

don’t get anything.  I left


my shoes at the door. I thought

I was being polite. How was I to know


that milk could feel

like the fine surface of the moon,


almost like powder. Very fine.



Bridget Murphy received an MA in English with an emphasis on the teaching of writing from Georgetown University. She has taught English at North Hennepin Community College for the last 30 years. Bridget is a writer of poetry and non-fiction with a recent publication entitled “The Last Rites” in a collection of Irish Minnesota writers: The Harp and The Loon Anthology: Literary Bridges between Ireland and Minnesota.