Take a Stroll

If you took a stroll

down the halls

of the school

in which  I teach

you would see

the beauty of


you would see

green and blue tie-dyed earths

colorful rainbows

insect life cycles.


you would see

computer interpretations

of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

books and artwork about musicians

music and instruments

hand molded ceramic bowls inscribed with short verse or rhyme,

like Dave the Potter did.


you would  see

thinking through


hand maps


Come to poems

Spring acrostic poems.


and these

you would also see

hanging outside of

my classroom, room 53:

Daria pink

Kaia pink poem

Hasin informational

addison informational

david informational

Alisa informational
This student moved from Belarus to the United States at the beginning of this school year. When I first met her at the end of August 2015, she spoke 7 words in English. Look at her now!

 the beauty of

the creation

up and down the halls

as you strolled and


at the walls

is what you would see.

©Maribeth Batcho


Black Gold

A song comes to mind this morning, as I heat up the mug in the microwave.  I am not sure why I remember this song from so long ago, when I was no more than 7 years old.  One of my sisters,  4 years older, was in the 5th grade chorus at Hamilton Elementary School.  The group sang this song during their Winter show. I remember going that cold night and sitting all snug and warm between both of my parents. That was unusual; Dad traveled for work and missed a lot of these events.  The chorus performed for quite a while.  Of all the pieces they presented, the only one I remember is this little ditty:

Coffee is Not for Me


Coffee is not for me.

It’s a drink some people wake up with.

That it makes them nervous is no myth.

Slaves to a coffee cup.

They can’t give coffee up!

I remember smiling throughout the entire piece, done in round, and the crowd erupting in applause at the end of the song.  We talked about this one on the way home from the concert that night, too.

I asked my sister a few years ago if she remembered that concert from more than 40 years ago, and especially whether she remembered the song.  Since she had no recollection, I sang it for her.  Still Nothing. Unless you include  that  you-are-kidding-me look she tossed my way.

It’s funny the little things we remember from different moments of our lives.  I went to Catholic schools, and never had the opportunity to sing in a chorus. Isn’t it curious, then, that I remember  this  from so long ago…

There is a special something about this.  Perhaps  the sense of pride I surely felt watching my sister up on stage with her classmates. No easy feat for someone with CP at that time. Or the sense of pride I could feel coming from my parents.  Perhaps it’s that, to this day, the smell of coffee takes me back to another place and time.

A comfortable place.

A loving place.

A warm and snug place…



Thanks, Andrew, for the memories…


©Maribeth Batcho

All Rights Reserved.

Any One of Us

What would you do

if you were faced with a decision

where doing nothing, letting it ride,

 could kill you

as easily as doing something, having the test?

What would you do,

if this was you?


What would you feel

if you learned, in a letter,

that someone you love, adore,  is


in a letter?

What would you feel,

if this was you?


What would you say

if you were from a large family

all living within a ten mile radius of home

yet the majority of the care-giving

was left to you?

What would you say,

if this was you?


What would you think

if you went back home


only to see that

someone had entered

and taken, taken,  taken?

What would you think,

if this was you?


What would you respond

if you suffered and endured

multiple betrayals and losses

and then you learned that

your most valued



What would you respond,

if this was you?


What would you taste

if you learned the people you

love most have


the door on


What would you taste,

if this was you?


What would you

do and feel and

say and think and

respond and taste?

If this was you?

If this was any one of us?



©Maribeth Batcho 2016  All Rights Reserved

Just me trying to make sense of the world…





She shuffled along

barely picking up her feet

cane supported her right hand.

daughter on her left

guided the way.

Wrapped in a coat

warm woolen red.

 a lavender hat

tiny grey pompom on top

pulled down tightly over her ears

eyes barely visible.

Daughter steadied her

readied her

as she sat down.

at the table

coat and hat remain in place.

 Daughter quietly

almost inaudibly asked

two eggs, home fries and toast?

her head nodded.


another nod.

water, no ice?


She would have wanted scrapple

eggs over easy

rye toast, dry

coffee, black

and water, iced.   Loaded with ice.

no coat,

definitely no hat.

Coffee poured.

raised the mug to her own lips

and sipped.

daughter whispered

head nodded.

she readied her for the meal

sleeves of warm red coat pushed up

shamrock bib tied around her neck.

She would have balked at the bib.

 a firm reminder she was the mother,

not the baby.

Quiet conversation.

loving regards.

peaceful, appreciative  moments

passed between.

Overwhelmed by the scene

at the next table.

by the rush of memories.

the two of them.

same movie, different set.


for taking me

to another place and time.

for the flashback.

Their breakfast paid.

by the witnesses.



©Maribeth Batcho

All Rights Reserved.