Stone Driveway

I would test the line
With a toe.
Were the rocks really as sharp as I remembered?
Would they bite as deep as last time?
A deep breath, a dive.
Move fast,
Perhaps it won’t hurt as much this time.

Then,
The coolness of grass.
A softness, refreshing, soothing bruised skin.
Until I was called to cross again.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Covid Verses/Paddler Press

The Covid Verses

Featuring 30 poems written during the global pandemic, this eclectic collection from international authors shares the humour, the frustrations, the loves, and the loss that we all have experienced.

– Paddler Press

I love it when an editor brings writers together and creates something special. I believe that is what Deryck Robertson has done with The Covid Verses. My poem Starving Overtime has graciously included in this collection that stands a testament to the world’s shared grief, pain, and fear. It may have been a dark two years for many, but it’s not a time we should forget, lest we fail to learn from our experiences.

This collaborative chapbook is available in print from Paddler Press. Please consider picking up your own copy to support this great Canadian Small Press.

Mary Grace van der Kroef

Keep Lit

He didn’t say
we wouldn’t weep while we waited.
He didn’t say
feeding the lantern’s flame,
wouldn’t singe.
He didn’t promise,
finding oil would be easy.
Only “Be ready,”
and the Spirit will with you sit.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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‘Omnipresent’ and ‘Things Made’/Heart of Flesh Literary Journal

I have been waiting with great anticipation to be able to share this publication. Heart of Flesh Literary journal is a publication I have been following since the beginning of my writing career, and they have been a dream publication for me.

This last week Issue Seven went live! My poems “Omnipresent” and “Things Made” have been included in this issue and I pray they bless you. They are available to read for free, accompanied by audio readings.

Print copies are available for purchase if you wish to support the Heart of Flesh Literary Journal.

Mary Grace van der Kroed

Feature art by Veronica McDonald, Heart of Flesh Literary Magazine.

Disconnect/Mental Rhythm Magazine

A literary magazine dedicated to showcasing the rhythms of mental health in individuals around the globe.

Mental Rhythm Website

They have featured my poem Disconnect in their first issue. I invite you all to read it along with the many other great works included.

It’s always a blessing to have a piece chosen out of the many submitted to each outlet. As a student run magazine, it’s also great to know my words are reaching young people in need of support.

I look forward to following them as a publication and supporting the students working behind the scene.

Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Miller Farm Fairy

Originally Written in 2009 while sending time in Bourbon Indiana on my Grandparents Farm. We enjoyed many walks down to the pond and dressing up in cattails and corn leaves sparked my imagination.

Her skirts are bound with borrowed twine,
Its folds of corn-leaf silk.
Braided reeds with clover, wheat,
Above a face as sweet as milk.

Her cheeks glow pink, her feet are bare.
Eyes a-twinkle in the light.
Heals they stain a healthy green
As they dance with all their might.

She is friends with the old elm tree;
Names the drying cornstalks.
Talks with people and things unseen…
But only till it’s six O’clock!

Then it’s off with her corn-leaf skirts,
Goodbye to pond and field.
For mother will be calling soon,
The table spread. It’s time to eat.

Bath with a story,
Sleep with sweet dreams.
Rest until tomorrow,
A day filled with many new things.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Reservoir of Tears

Reservoir of tears
aqueduct of word
release an angry flood
meaning becomes blurred

Bursting opened taps
short vessels made of clay
gushing on the floor
encasement to betray

Floorboards soaked expand
no longer toured with ease
watch out for lilting planks
slowing down our speed

Now in laboured love
mop and pail in hand
reserving wasted words
reclaiming tears unplanned

Together, as a pair
working, side by side
we’ll fix the broken pipes
turn off destructive tides

Buckets brimming full
water garden beds
washing grunge from panes
also grimy heads

Still important words
filled with precious tears
one ladle at a time
preserved for drought years

©2020 Mary Grace van der Kroef

“Reservoir of Tears” originally appeared in Issue II of the Kitchen Sink Magazine.


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Coming About

It’s a difficult thing
coming about.
Shifting position,
turning around.

Humbling questions,
confusion galore.
But brave souls
can also restore

An off kilter compass,
foot steps astray.
Brave hearts holding
pride at bay.

Utter “I’m sorry,”
cry when they pray.
Know, failure
is more than okay.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Reflections (1)

Thoughts on this statement?

I know keenly that things I once assumed proved wrong. My opinions have changed. So the way I write and interpret poetry will do the same.

Does that make my earlier work obsolete? No. They give glimpses into the journey my heart has been on since birth.

Read poetry, any literature really, with a grain of salt. Thoughtfully. Joyfully.

Words will change you, words will challenge you. Give yourself some grace and space to grow past them.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Reviews for The Branch That I Am

Have you read ‘The Branch That I Am’? Please leave us a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or in the comments section of this post. All reviews are welcome and appreciated, whether one star or five. All we ask is that you are kind in your word choice. THANK YOU!

Original Review from Amazon.ca

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