Ingrid Bruck is wild flower gardener and a poet inspired by nature. She lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania. This site shocases selected works by her.

Last Rites - Published by: Soul-Lit: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry Poems Volume 19: Spring 2018

Last Rites


Sister Francis stays to the end 

alone in Stella Maris Retreat House. 

A day after Christmas, she lets herself in.  

Sister Clare, gone, 

guests, gone, 

staff, gone, 

all gone except Sister Lois 

who leaves two days later.

On January 1st, new owners take possession. 

The last four days in December, 

Sister Francis alone in the nun’s quarters   

sits last rites for the house 

to the rhythm of sun, moon and ocean. 


She walks stairs and hallways 

past fifty bedrooms 

tidies the kitchen 

prays in the chapel 

strolls gardens, bluff, beach 

walks the labyrinth. 

At the end of each day,  

she climbs up forty-two steps 

and falls asleep in her bed 

counting waves. 

Stella Maris was home. 

Her reflection lives 

in the black marble corridor 

where she glided to chapel,  

along with thousands of souls 

who found peace there.

On the last day of the year, 

Sister Francis locks the door. 

Before she leaves, she takes her key 

and throws it in the sea.


Date Published: April 9, 2018


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