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Poetically Yours - Missing You

Ingrid Wendt.jpg
Ingrid Wendt
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Ingrid Wendt taking a selfie.

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by mostly northern Illinois poets. This week’s featured poet lives in Oregon.

Ingrid Wendt is grew up in Aurora, Illinois. She started writing poetry at a young age, stopped and didn’t start again until she was in high school. She’s traveled the world teaching the art to students and teachers.

Wendt is also a singer and is a trained organist and pianist. Wendt said she writes to help people feel less lonely.

“Part of my goal is to write from personal experience in such a way that people find parallels in their own lives,” she explained. “I want my poems to help enrich people's understanding of themselves, and of their own experiences, and of the world.”

Wendt has a number of accolades but one thing she is most proud of was going back to her hometown and teaching at Bardwell Elementary, the school where she wrote her first poem.

Today she shares her poem “Words to Use with Caution.”

Oh, but they sounded so good when first I came across them, and so for a time

I passed them along: may memories bring you comfort.

And then I lost the one with whom I shared forty-nine years. And then, not long after, I saw

the bench along the river where he loved to sit

and watch the never-ending constellations of ducks, ducklings, and herons shifting, wild geese

gliding in for a landing and off again they’d go—

he’d sit because he couldn’t walk much further—and I needed to walk at a faster pace another twenty

minutes or so—because he wanted to take care also of me—

because he took such joy in simply being. No, that first time I went to the river alone

and saw him not there, fierce

and sudden tears punched and punched and did not stop until, back home, a neighbor with griefs of her own

put her arms around me and held me a long, long, silent time.

Friends, those memories nearly knocked me right down.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.