The Path that Beckons: Poems About the Journey
by Mary Beth Bretzlauf
62 Poems ~ 10 Illustrations ~ 87 pages
Price: $15.00
Publisher: Amazon/KDP
ISBN: 9798378321957
To Order: Amazon


I’ve always been curious about where a path might lead. When I was in my reckless youth, I would explore my neighborhood. Thankfully, I never ran into trouble, but today, when I’m walking the dog at one of the town’s many parks, it is the path that forks off into another direction that lures me. A path we choose to take or plow our own can lead us to our dreams, spiral around our starting point or take us in a direction we may not be ready to explore. The poems reflect a life’s journey.


The Path That Beckons is a beautiful and mindful journey into the soul of true talent. It’s hard enough to write well, but to write from your soul at the same time is definition of art. As evidenced by this latest work, Mary Beth has an artist’s soul. Buy her book, settle into a comfortable chair, and allow her poetry to journey into your heart and mind.
–Mark Vancil, Author of For the Love of the Game and Driven From Within”

“Kudos to Mary Beth Bretzlauf for her first book of poetry, The Path that Beckons. This meticulously written collection examines the challenging as well as easier times in her life journey. Each step and word reflect choices as well as events that test the poet’s courage and stamina to live a full life as she chronicles joy, sorrow, family, friendship, love and many other topics.
– Susan T. Moss, Illinois State Poetry Society President, and author of Mapping a Life


Mary Beth Bretzlauf has wanted to write since she could read chapter books. Several of her poems have appeared in Highland Park Poetry’s Muses Gallery over the years. It is her honor to have co-edit several poetry books with Jennifer Dotson for Highland Park Poetry. Her first book of poetry, The Path That Beckons, was just released in March. She has a fiction novel in the revision process. Mary Beth is Vice President of Illinois State Poetry Society, serves as Secretary and Website Administrator for East on Central Association. She is also a member of the Highland Park Poetry Live Events Team. When not involved in poetry, she is an active member of Zion Writers’ Guild and Writers in Progress (WIP), which has been meeting every two to three weeks for fifteen years! Mary Beth is also a Board member of the Bretzlauf Family Foundation which helps students with post high school education.


My Mother, the Nurse
by Mary Beth Bretzlauf

Pediatrics, third shift, 1961
the smallest of patients are
the ones never forgotten–
Christopher Michael hasn’t
had an easy life in his 388 days
despite his adorable redheaded curls
he hasn’t been able to see
his parents, doctor, or nurses
his eyes do not work,
nor do his ears
or heart

on her hourly check, she brushes
her fingertips through his silky curls
says a silent prayer that his own mother prays,
her own mother-heart aching for this little Christopher

Geriatrics, 1:30 a.m., 1961
thinking of her young patient
two floors up, the nurse
answers the call button
it’s bed 34-A again
his fifth in the last hour
can’t be a bedpan–
that was the first
can’t be water–
that was the last
this time he needed a match
to light his cigarette

she glances at the neighboring bed
34-B is too quiet–too still
No pulse.
Notifies the shift supervisor
makes the call to the doctor
calls the family

When the paperwork is done,
She wheels 34-B to the morgue
Where she sees another body is already there
Much smaller
Auburn curl peeking from out the sheet
Her tears make it difficult to see the way home

Home, September 22, 1989
nearly thirty years later
the nurse now retired
holds a newborn grandson and
welcomes this Christopher Michael to the family.


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