September 3, 2018

Disappearing Birch Forest / When I'm Gone by Ingrid Bruck

Disappearing Birch Forest

When I was a child, 
I thought the birches I knew 
grew on a mountain cliff
when I walked the deer trail 
across its steep flanks. 
I meandered alone 
in fields and woods.
I’d look through leaf lace 
into a drop studded 
with lollipop stick trunks,
walk the hillside trail
straight across at a slow rise.
I learned that a slant path 
can be the best way to go,
a lesson I try to remember 
when writing poems. 
When I return as an adult, 
the forest has vanished,
swallowed by a sandpit.

When I’m Gone

These words are for you, granddaughter,
a treasure map of history and myth
about a family that no longer exists 
in a world that has changed to something different 
you won’t remember the stories I didn’t tell you
or the wildflowers I never grew in the garden
or the jars or jam and fruit I never canned
or the pines, gulls and waves at Stella Maris
when it was a retreat house before you were born
when I still remembered family stories
when I still had four brothers and four sisters
when I still fed nectar to hummingbirds
when I still kept a wildflower garden,  
grew vegetables, berry bushes and fruit trees
I share these conversations with you that I recorded
when Mother Earth held me on her lap

Ingrid Bruck lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her writing. A retired library director, she writes short forms and short poems. Current work appears in Haibun Today, Rat’s Ass Review, Halcyon Days, I Am Not A Silent Poet and Soul-Lit. Poetry website:


  1. It's wonderful to see your poems here, Ingrid. Hope to see more poems by ModPo poets here!

  2. Ingrid! My breath caught in my throat as I read these. Oh, you know how I feel about family, history, stories. These touch all corners of the heart.