Tom Murphy


Obituary (muwashshaha)

In this God forsaken Bible 

Rust Belt, Margaret Screws

Lived 98 years before going

To the Lord on November 19th

2016 at Mount Carmel CC.

A dedicated nurse, who

Learned her asses and lube trade

In the same hospital, she was born,

St. Paul’s in Big D 

As Margaret Ann Thurmon.

Moved to Kermit with her friend Janie

To nurse that West Texas big sky 

At Robinson McClure Hospital

Where she gave a shot of penicillin

To her love, George Dewey “Pete” Screws.

Humble Margaret screws 

Pete’s Fitz-Willie and pops

Out eight children before

Sun Oil Company shipped them

To San Isidro Sun Oil Field.

A school nurse, then a quick in ‘n out.

The Kingsville Record’s headline 

“Margaret Screws Bishop

Now Screws in Premont.”

Nurse of Brock County, humble, butt-proud. 

Oh, Saint Teresa of the Infant Flower Catholic church of


How do we know Margaret Screws?

The eight kids’ 19 grandchildren

Their 39 great grandchildren

and their 3 great great grandchildren.

Her boys weren’t all that proud or humble.

After childhood torment, teasing and torture 

Two of the sons changed their name to Crews.

The five girls all married, thus taking their husbands’ name.

Except for David Screws in Stephenville.

Remember, when you’re pressing the button

While you’re lying in that hospital bed,

mainlining meds and saline solution,

plus, filling up that colostomy bag,

remember, “Oh nurse?” Margaret Screws.

copyright Tom Murphy

About Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a People’s Poetry Festival-Corpus Christi committee member. Murphy’s books & CDs: American History (Slough Press, 2017), co-edited Stone Renga (Tail Feather, 2017), chapbook, Horizon to Horizon (Strike Syndicate, 2015), CDs “Live from Del Mar College” (BOW Productions, 2015), and “Slams from the Pit” (BOW Productions, 2014).