Tuesday, April 22, 2014


That April of the fall
it was already the burning season;
petal-damp tulips lined
the bent road, curving west.

We donned the camouflaged windbreaker
of nomads, who have nothing but each other—
dashed from rock to rock along the river’s edge
watching flames lick the surface, catching fire
to ferns and evergreens,
and burning down the barns and silos
behind us.

We ran from it, singed, to each other,
knowing together
we’d be able to save us
and our crumpled matchbook hearts
tossed somewhere in the
ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk
of old tracks, trained so many
miles long.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Thursday, April 17, 2014

lemon blossom & lavender

my alabaster box is broken
my hair perfumed
i am the weeping woman, child
lost & found

i am like stardust
in the web of the moon, dreamer
asleep in the blue-flame rain, cloud and fog
delivered on the dark-smoke water
eyelids stirring
in dappled light
opening to the full
s     t     r     e     t     c     h
in the sweet summer sun
when everything is new again,

i am my best work
in my pajamas, cuddling
my preferred method
of communication

i am a seeker of poison
to extract from wounds,
salve when storm-blistered,
and hope when there is
nothing else

i am consumed
in crimson smolder passion
and peaceful glow, soft & bold

my alabaster box is broken
my hair perfumed
i am the weeping woman, child
lost & found

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

photo © 2014 jennifer wagner

For dVerse Meeting the Bar:  Self Portraits.  Brian has challenged us to write a "selfie" poem which can be "symbolic, metaphorical, descriptive".

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


T206 Honus Wagner Baseball Card
Image in the Public Domain

When you’re rare
you’re worth a lot.

Even if you’re just
the kid brother afterthought
working in a coal mine
at 12 years old—

you can


Like becoming
one of the
first 5 players elected
to the National Baseball Hall of Fame,

or becoming
the first
to get your signature on
the Louisville Slugger,

or have yours
be the most valuable
baseball card in history.

Like Honus,
there’s only one you,

and it might be schmaltzy
to say, but—
that’s pretty rare.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Monday, April 7, 2014

Paper Mosaics

image by cohdra


Poems are
stained paper mosaics,

picked up
on the journey,
dismantled proverbs

in the window glass
of personal palaces
and in the stepping stones
of personal ghettos;

broken tile stories

with more blood
than it looks.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Happy National Poetry Month!

Friday, April 4, 2014

In Memory

photo © 2014 jennifer wagner

what is found
when we are
broken down
to remnants, to debris?

things we treasured,
things we valued?

as i read the names
of the lost and missing
my tongue

each   L
each   I
each   F
each   E
i gulp
and time

91 years
71 years
69, 67, 66, 65, 64, 63, 61, 60 years
59, 58, 55, 53, 52 years
49, 47, 45, 41 years
36, 35, 31 years
23, 21 years
19 years
14 years
13 years
6 years
5 years
4 years
2 years
4 months

how quickly, each,
in a moment’s breath,
like the morning fog,

to be summed up
not by things
but by those who cared,
who knew what made them
more than mist.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

As of today there are 30 people confirmed dead and 17 still missing in the landslide in Oso.  I tried to get all the ages of victims down here (some victims were the same age, of course); my apologies for any I have missed.
The team my husband is on will hand the baton to the next set of searchers and will likely be able to come home tomorrow for much needed rest.  We haven’t seen him since he left to be a part of the search but we have been able to talk.  He has some heartbreaking and amazing stories.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I bore your neurotoxic carvings
into my skin,
nerve endings dangling, exposed,
until I transformed
into something
even I
no longer recognized.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner