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Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.



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Muriel Murch

I leave the bed softly
so as not to rouse you
and am in the bathroom before I remember
you are not here.

And yet.

It is the sound of your breathing
sung from memory
by the wind in the eucalyptus grove
that is the lullaby for my dreams.

About the poet:

Muriel (Aggie) Murch graduated as a nurse in England in 1964 and was subsequently accredited as a nurse in the US. Her memoir Journey in the Middle of the Road: One Woman's Path Through a MidLife Education was published in 1995. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies and journals including Between the Heart Beats: Poetry and Prose by Nurses, Intensive Care: More Poetry and Prose by Nurses and Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies. Her new book The Bell Lap: Stories for Compassionate Nursing Care will be released this month. She also produces independent radio programs for several California radio stations, including KWMR.org. She can be found at murielmurch.com.

About the poem:

"After fifty years of marriage, our life is still such that we are often apart for weeks or months at a time. Over the years, within the night's waking and the dawn-lit hours, anxieties and fears change but never leave. Now I have come to realize that one day, for one of us, memory is all that will remain."

Poetry editors:

Johanna Shapiro and Judy Schaefer


# Susan Turner 2016-03-06 12:31
Lovely poem!
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# Veneta Masson 2016-03-05 10:13
Plain but evocative language, flawless metaphor, not one extra word. Thank you, Aggie.
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# Liz Witherell 2016-03-05 08:25
Very touching poem. Thanks.
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# Ann Lederer 2016-03-05 06:25
Thank you for this beautifully understated and emotionally precise poem.
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# Pris Campbell 2016-03-05 05:50
Wonderfully written, moving poem. As we grow older we become more aware that one day the empty pillow will be permanent, not temporary.
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# Susan Mazer-Smith 2016-03-05 02:32
Such a profound moment of realization. And, such a privilege to love so deeply. Thus, the price we pay....
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# LHaller 2016-03-04 21:40
Great poem. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My husband and I are in our sixties. One day there will only be one of us who remembers.
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# Anneke van der Veen 2016-03-04 21:04
Quintessentiall y Muriel Murch
Thanks for this lovely poem.
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# Raymond 2016-03-04 20:24
A lot of poetry I read I just don't understand. This one I do!
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# Cortney Davis 2016-03-04 19:46
Lovely! Thank you Muriel for a touching and universal poem. Looking forward to your new book . . . .
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