Tag Archives: Relationships

Heart Daughter


They told me that you were born missing most of your brain,
But to me, you were perfect.
I’ve fallen in love dozens of times, but nothing prepared me for the way it felt to hold you in my arms and look into your grey-blue eyes:
Calm, still oceans that harboured secrets no one would ever discover.

You were not a child of my body, but you were a child of my heart.

Born to teenage parents who had underestimated the challenge of raising a special needs child, I cared for you in the hospital for the month after your birth while you waited for a foster home.
Doctors and nurses focused on how you wouldn’t live past ten,
But all I could focus on was the way you looked at me whenever I cradled you and sang,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”


What does it mean when a child is born imperfect?
Some people take uncreased sheets of paper just to fold them into shapes called “art”.
Some people pour gold into fractured pottery just to celebrate the beauty of splintered history.
If art and history can be subjective, then who am I to behold the creation of Almighty G-d and call it anything less than spectacular?
You, you are made of the magic of stars and cells, angels and organisms, fairy dust and molecules,
Spackled together by two people who didn’t know how to raise a child who wasn’t like other babies,
And I, I was the witness to this messed-up miracle of a sweet baby girl born imperfectly perfect, perfectly imperfect.
All I could do in your presence was hope that I could kiss you enough for both our lifetimes whenever I cradled you and sang,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”


Your name is a song that dances on my lips in the arabesque of a half-smile or the brise of laughter in a quiet moment.
Time races by in sunrises and sunsets,
Almost as fast now as those hours at the hospital where I counted your fingers, toes, and eyelashes.
Somehow, I have ended up loving you without you much longer than I loved you while knowing you.
The day I handed you to a woman I didn’t know to take you away to a place that I’ll never know, knowing that I’ll never see you again,
I sat down on the pavement outside the hospital and cried in the autumn rain.
They say that motherhood is momentous because it is choosing to forever have your heart walk around outside of your body,
And in that moment, as the raindrops beat down, I became a true mother.


You are my Heart Daughter, and wherever you go, I will always long for you.
Every night before I go to sleep, I cradle all my love and hope and wishes for you in my arms and I never forget to sing,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

Chloee passed away February 22nd, 2018. I will never forget her.


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This work, “Heart Daughter”, by Beth Murch,  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Afternoon Thoughts


I sometimes wish
you would reach across the miles
to somehow smooth over
mountains of wrongdoings
oceans of salty tears
shine sun rays
on the tropical rainforest of my heart
where the colours just haven’t been as bright
since the day you went away



I remember
my fingernails once left bloody crescents on my palms
my jaw ached from gritting my teeth until they were broken
your empty promises split my skin like the edges of paper
and then
I remember
how much I enjoy sleeping through the night now

But still


wish I could hold your hand and giggle once more
wind up at the bottom of another coffee pot together
whisper secrets and promises anew
while writing poems about ghosts that linger in the shadows
wish that I was still the one you turned to at 4 AM
wind up choking when I hear your voice
whisper your name to remember the taste of it in my mouth
while writing poems about a love that never made sense to me



pretend that I never happened
only speak my name as a curse
only look my way when time stands still
only hope to keep me broken-hearted
like a child.
But friendships are not like playgrounds
and long after the bell rings
you are going to remember me
if only to sing yourself to sleep
if only to hold yourself when you are lonely
if only to remind yourself of a time when you had a home



I remember your name when I light my Shabbos candles
because no matter what, I still pray that you are blessed
I may not be able to look at the pictures yet
but the memories are never far from my mind
I will always look for you in a crowded room
I will always answer the phone when you call.
My heart will always be full of you.

I will see you in another lifetime
where our history together will be as light as butterfly wings
and we will be together again.


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This work, “Afternoon Thoughts” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



I never write poetry anymore.
I don’t remember how to.
I remember red wine and clove cigarettes.
I remember singing Tom Waites at 4 AM.
I remember counting syllables like a greedy child counts coins for candy.
Words don’t come easily now.
There’s only the hum of the refrigerator for company.

I only sleep with escape artists.
I pretend that I am not awake whenever lovers quietly leave
so that I never have to say goodbye.
They pretend that they will see me again.
We pretend that red wine stains come out of white winter coats.
Nothing is final –
Except my unwelcome solitude.

My special talent is turning inside-out.
Let me show you my entrails.
This is my heart.
These are my veins.
These are the hungry ghosts that play between my organs.
I call them my emotions.
They don’t call me anything at all.


Is this your image? Please let me know so that I may credit you.

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This work is licensed, “Untitled” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

NaPoWriMo Day 22


22/30 Prompt: Write About Packing Up Your Place

You think it would be easy
To leave a place that was never yours to begin with,
But you are no Bedouin –
You like to settle.
You would prefer to force your roots up through concrete sidewalks,
Punch your branches through aluminum siding to reach sunlight,
Grow on an angle to dodge buzzing power lines,
Rather than simply move…
Rather than disappoint someone.


Even though you hate that the kitchen has no counter,
You think the painting of the giraffe is ugly,
And you resent picking up his pants from the front hall everyday,
You still cry tears of regret as you shove garments into garbage bags.
Do you do the dirty dishes in the sink before you go?
Do you make him one last glass of chocolate milk to leave in the fridge for old time’s sake?
What can you do to make this more “okay”?


You want to touch things,
Leave fingerprints all over the apartment like a crime scene.
You want to write apologies on the walls with your blood,
To carve out the bullets of his words from your body
And place them on the table he bought from Ikea
That he told you that you loved so very much.
You know that he would only tell you that these bits of metal ugliness
Still coated with strings of your fascia
Clashed with his décor.
The truth is that every bit of who you are
Has never co-ordinated with the couch,
Your soul has never matched with the china,
Your heart never snapped into place when it came to his life’s puzzle.


You leave the picture of you together on the mantle,
The one where he had your face pressed into his chest
So that he took up the entire frame except for your back.
Once, that photograph made you feel like he was holding you,
Keeping you safe, warming you with his very heart.
Now, you realize he was trying to smother you,
Killing you with what came from his core,
Absorbing you into his body until you were no longer separate.


You vomit when you remove the mezuzah
Knowing that technically, he’s more Jewish than you’ll ever be,
But you are the only one who kisses it,
And he will just throw out that holy scroll with G-d’s name written on it
Just like he threw away his grandfather’s prayerbook,
Just like he threw away the gifts from your bridal shower.
You are the one leaving,
And yet somehow, you are still the one being left behind.


You take one last look at “your home”
Because you know there will be no going back
For forgotten items,
For missed opportunities,
For stray kisses that might have been pushed under the couch during vacuuming.
Although you have your boxes of books and your university degree wrapped in the quilt
Someone bought you as a wedding present,
You know that you are leaving things behind.
There will always be fibres of your being floating with dust motes in the air.
There will always be pieces of your heart scratched into the laminate flooring.
There will always be the whispers you spoke into that hole in the closet where the drywall crumbled.


Will the next people who live in your place
Catch the lingering fragrance of your pain
In their clothes
When the windows have been shut too long?




Creative Commons License
This work, “Untitled” by Beth Murch,  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.