Compost – A Poem by Hope Ruhenkamp

Carlos Saenz de Tejada – A Sad Girl

Poetry by Hope Ruhenkamp

She claims she is dying
Or trying to at least
And she expects us to believe her this time.
Her tongues are now yellowed and split
In veins and grooves
And still she refuses a drink.
When I ask her to come with me to get some sun She stretches the opposite way
Her arms and neck reach for a dark corner
But her roots stop her.
Her arms shade her from the window I’ve opened.
And she holds her breath when I suggest fresh air.
She sulks and wilts until I agree
To stop helping or help stop,
So I do. And I watch as she decomposes
In her own bed, staining her form into the earth
I cannot raise something from the dead.

About the Poet

Hope Ruhenkamp is a recent graduate of English Literature fromWright State University. Her work has been included in Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology and Nexus Literary Journal. She enjoys writing about uncomfortable topics like death, anxiety and obesity in hopes that her writing encourages conversations around these subjects. To see some of her other work, please visit

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