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.

Flying & Pumpkin Hollow Elegy - Published by: Red Fez, Issue 123


I’m writing this poem about flying for M.

My dead brother M was #2 of nine, 

his ashes lie grounded in the Adirondacks,

where a star glints, big sky out of reach. 

I’m writing this poem for estranged sister #3 

who flew the nest and calls it self-protection. 

This poem about flying is for me, child #1.

I’m not from around here, he’s not either. 

Did I tell you this poem is about flying

and really is about autism?

M almost died at eighteen-months, 

crying for the mommy who never held him at the hospital

because he was contagious and she was pregnant. 

M flew from home, returned shut tight as a coffin, 

withdrawn into a place where no one could hurt him.

M took his first flight at three, 

leaping off the shed like Superman, 

a towel for a cape, a diaper pin at his throat. 

My cousin and I dared M to prove he could fly. 

We pulled him up on the roof, M jumped. 

I don’t need to tell you how the story ended.

I’m not from around here. 

I told you this poem is about autism, 

it’s really a poem about runaways. 

At four, M bolted from home taking only his toothbrush. 

He mounted a red metal trike, pedaled hard

up the main road with cars and trucks. 

A good neighbor stopped him at the light

before the turn onto the state highway. 

That’s when a psychologist at St. Rose College

helped M to fly back home. 

Did I tell this poem was about runaways? 

Our parents ran away from the children.

After work, they left us home alone. 

We flocked together and raised each other. 

I’m not from around here. 

At seventeen, I took to the air,

left my family behind when I entered college. 

My parents shipped one sister to live with me,

another sister in college got handed two. 

Hold my hand, M, you’re one of us, 

one of nine shape-changer siblings

free as wild Indians with wings. 

We roamed fields, woods and yards. 

I’m writing a story about valiant tree climbers.

Hold my hand, M, climb to the treetop,

let’s sky-walk like birds in wind swayed trees.

Remember I told you this poem is about flying? 

In this new story, M leaps and flies. 

Pumpkin Hollow Elegy

Three weeks after he dies, 

the new moon rises in a still blue sky.

The spoon edge of light

dips despair from the hollow, 

fills its silver cup, drops it 

in front of the stars, 

pours it on the night. 

His wife looks like a shattered Buddha.

Tears drape her cheeks, 

hair hangs lank over collapsed shoulders

covered by a shawl the color of mud.

She slogs through fog and cold.

It rains until early morning

comes on slant rays. 

Fragrant lilacs blossom without him,

they weep, bowed and heavy. 

Showers return later that day, 

splatters slip between raindrops, 

sing melodies on the current of the Taconic. 

Grief ripples on rocks, 

tumbles over the waterfall.

On the third day, 

sun slices the clouds open.

A cardinal blazes on a tree limb.

A chipmunks darts from a root hole,

friend of the soil that grows

romaine, parsley and basil

for the kitchen.

The creatures and plants on the ridge

offer a place to rest in their arms.

Date Published: May 17, 2019

Obscura - Published by: Haibun Today 13:2 June 2019

Six Ocean Mornings - Published by: Better Than Starbucks Magazine, May 2019, Vol. IV, No. III