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Ruth M. Krulfeld

About Poet
Ruth M. Krulfeld has lived part-time on the Eastern Shore, in Chincoteague, VA since 1983. She is an anthropologist, and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Human Sciences, and International Affairs at George Washington University, where she taught for 37 years and is past chair of the Department of Anthropology. From 1980 through the present, she has conducted anthropological research with refugees and immigrants in the U.S., and is recipient of the Pedagogical Research and Innovation in Education Award and the George Washington University Award in 2000 for Outstanding Service to the University and the Wider Society. Since retiring, she has found great delight in creating art and writing poetry - which she finds a demanding master, since it wakes her in the middle of the night.


Long dangle-legged
Feet lagging, lounging on air
Behind the almost painful whiteness
Of outstretched wing and retracted neck
Behind the splattering grease
Of fractured cackles
Legs descending upon landing
Like ancient calligraphy
On the parchment of marshland

Snow Geese

Black-tipped blizzard
Of blinding white
Unraveling skeins of dots
Filling the sky
More and more arriving
From distant lands
Spotting those who came before
Settled now like chunks of ice
Coating the fabric of water
Chattering some raucous greeting
More and more settle
On dangling skidding feet
Paddles slipping down
On marshy ponds

Canada Geese

The prominent V
Piercing the blue tissue of sky
And white cloud fluff
Honking instructions
On the pecking order of flight
And perhaps directions
To watering spots
The inns and outs of seasonal travel


Swooping down and then up
And down again
Mystifying redness
Blinding eye and mind
Top-knotted, orange-beaked wonders
The aerial surveyors of mowed lawns


In Memoriam

The Carcass of a boat
Long dead, even before its owner died
Waits in a gut for an outing
That will never come
A watery memorial

To a man who loved such things
As broken boats
And rescuing them
Offered sanctuary
In a cluttered yard

Aberrant waves
In memory of boats
Gone by
Sigh elegies
To what once was


Ruth M. Krulfeld
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