Thursday, June 28, 2012

Old Tan Oldsmobile

I could practically smell the cigarettes

Though the windows were rolled up
In the aging tan-colored Oldsmobile

It is the first thing I noticed, strangely

A sun-shriveled old face
Peered above the steering wheel

Crowned by a large straw hat

We were united he and I
Two travelers, strangers

Our only common ground the numbing freeway

I began to wonder about his life
And wonder if he wondered about mine

I imagined him an artist
A widower, missing his children

Who again forgot to send a card

I could see him on the old dock
On the summer lake at dusk

Sitting cross-legged, casting his line

Thinking of the malignancy
That took them all from him

That steady current in his own veins

I craved to know his stories
A little girl version of Manolin

And suddenly he was The Old Man and the Sea

As I made my exit
My eyes lingered on the aged auto, aged hat, aged man

Continuing together to amble the road

I silently wished him farewell
And for his final battle, one

Not so bitter-sweet as Santiago’s

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner 
Added to The Poetry Pantry

Monday, June 25, 2012

Spring Canzonet

The peonies danced perfectly;
with each windshake
perfumed heads
sprinkled sweet dew to the soil.

For a moment she longed to be them;
to listen,
to draw the lyric breath,
and contribute her song.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner 
Shared in imaginary garden

Thursday, June 21, 2012


     spitting watermelon seeds
     through the new hole in his teeth

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Eleven at Tulalip

Me, the flightless bird

Soaring in your wildblue


With mysteries


Bathing in moonlight as

The fingers of night


Through ribbons of me


Sweet, your mouth,

My tears on your lips,


So much so I wished to never end them


Me, the flightless bird

Now securely


In the cove on the mountain I didn’t think I could climb



Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seattle Spring

all day long
  violets in the rain
  bleed hello

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner


my sick sister
her contagious

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Grazie, Sue Bell

bluesy jazz singer
amid the bar chatter
i drink the notes

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Monday, June 11, 2012

You Always Pick the Worst Apples

You always pick the worst apples, 

she chided him, all bruised!

They are still sweet in some spots—

sweeter even than others without them, he said.

And then she wondered if that’s why he’d picked her.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, June 10, 2012


misplaced jewels—
that little restaurant we found,
and why we loved each other

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Little Cowgirl

little cowgirl
on grandpa’s horse
ten             feet            tall

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Becoming Clay

Becoming Clay
Stacked upon the shelf,
my emotions, spent and raw.
Dark are they now,
and bland—
I cannot feel anymore.

Whispers of my soul
lay broken in a mess I cannot fix myself.
If I were to blow a final deep, aching breath
the shards would fly away like dust.

A single tear slides down my cheek,
like a match across my heart,
reminding me to feel—
reminding me of what I cannot lose.

It falls to the ground
reaching the dust of my brokenness.
And in the silence,
hands caked with the mud of humanity
reach for me,
His grip unafraid of the cold reality of what I am.

A low, loving murmur breaks the dead air,
a voice confident and sure,
"Now I have something to work with."

Copyright 2005 Jennifer Wagner

Monday, June 4, 2012

Corvus Observation

the black crow
endlessly wandering
finds home

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner