March 23, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Rashida Murphy



This is how we grieve



Lay your flag on my wall, their bodies, those streets

Baghdad. Beirut. Sydney. Paris.

Name the things that terrify you

Jihad. Sharia. Muslim. Refugee.

Inside cities crowded with impromptu shrines

Lay your flowers. Tears. Words. Prayers.

Cry quietly or howl with rage

Plead. Applaud. Dismiss. Condemn.

This is how we grieve










My love looks at me with my daughter’s eyes

Eyes the colour of green olives

Or the quiet shine of a late sea.

They link their eyes and look at me.


My daughter still laughs sometimes

She wears a circle of hope on her finger.

I think she’s a Bronte girl.

I think she runs with wolves.


My love knows I am not whole.

He stops my heart from twisting on itself.

He relinquishes me constantly

As though I was never his to keep.


My daughter confounds the ties that bind us.

She disappears behind words that hurt us.

She denies my vigilance.

She questions my grief.


My love contains me in absence

As if togetherness is a luxury we can’t afford.

My daughter contains me in narrative

As if misery is an option we can’t ignore.








Rashida Murphy

Rashida Murphy lives in Perth, Western Australia. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in The Westerly, Marginata and Write Bloody Publishing. Her debut novel will be published by UWA Publishing later this year.


  1. Sanjeev Sethi March 24, at 02:52

    This is a tricky slope: to be in control in 'emotional' poems. Rashidha achieves this with grace.Excellent work.

  2. Gulara March 23, at 07:11

    Stunningly beautiful! Touched my heart. Thank you, Rashida.


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