all that’s left

Posted: October 5, 2015 in ingrid ruthig
Tags: , , , ,


This list of scribbles, once folded
in the middle. A Hansel-Gretel map
of seven words that won’t add up.

It doesn’t say what necklace –
whether to choose, to return,
or have the broken made whole.

And what of the book? Did you
find it, skim a few pages, skip
ahead, decide it wasn’t for you?

Did the title trigger a plan
to run full tilt and dodge
the danger of staying in place?

Your list, if it escaped a pocket or
negligent hand, fell prey to the ditch,
the rough undergrowth of town.

Days outside claimed their toll,
rendered this scrap a relic
whose glyphs baffle and fade.

Maybe you let go on purpose
and reached for better that day –
a story you could read to the end.

Ingrid Ruthig lives on the shore of Lake Ontario, and just east of Toronto. She is the author of Slipstream, Synesthete II, and editor of The Essential Anne Wilkinson and Richard Outram: Essays on His Works. Her work has appeared widely in many Canadian and international publications, including The Best Canadian Poetry, Numéro Cinq, The Malahat Review, and National Post. As a visual artist, she alters existing print language and image to create a fusion in her award-winning textworks, which have been shown in various galleries and are held in private collections. A volume of Ingrid’s poems will be published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside in April 2016.

She can be found at


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