Friday, August 29, 2014

On Dead Dragonfly and Giant Mushroom Trail

It’s on our lips,
we’re whispering the change of time
while the ear tips of trees
are burning orange.

Seven and I
pick and eat blackberries,
just a few, though—
as the bulk have not yet turned
from green,
to red,
to purplish-black.

Not far away
charcoal is smoldering
and the scent of
grilling hot dogs
keeps summer alive—

we pause,
as much to watch
a rabbit watching us
and then bounce away,

as to hold on
to the end
and the beginning.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

“Seven” refers to my seven-year-old.  There is a trail near our house we often walk on where he found a beautiful dead dragonfly and where a giant mushroom grows sideways out of the trunk of a fallen tree, therefore, the title.  Happy changing of seasons!

For OLN at dVerse

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cleaning House

In my thrift store psyche
the ghost of you sits
in a ring of dust
on a table not quite antique.

I keep check on it
every now and then,
making sure you haven’t reappeared

midst blue and gold gilded vases,
LP’s with faded jackets,
and hand-me-downs.

New stuff gets added
daily, weekly, monthly. . .

and some things find other homes, too—
like you.

One day I’ll dust,
after the clutter clears,
and then
even your memory
will be gone too.

Until I find another thing
that reminds me of you.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, August 17, 2014

(Out of) Focus

Broken, I was
in a thousand fifteen places.

Broken, then
in two hundred twenty-eight.

Broken, now am I
in ten plus seventeen.

And more—but why do I only see
the broken parts of me?


© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Never Stop/Taking Me Home

On the train from Chicago
we are all colors, flavors—
caramel, dark, light.

A young couple, clad
all in red and white, waits near us;
soccer fans
heading back from
Liverpool FC v. Olympiacos.

I had noticed them earlier
on the way in—
laughing at photos on his phone,
their tan legs, intertwined.

And across from us now
an even younger couple,
dark chocolate skin, laughing, electric—
their delight in each other
making me feel like grinning silly,
floating too.

Young love
makes a strong point:  never stop flirting
with the one you want to keep.

She grabs his hand, massages,
notices a scar.
I catch a snippet of what
he says, there’s a story behind that.
Let me tell you

And I drift away
to the conductor nearing our seats,
hear you say, I lost our other ticket
blew onto the tracks

Don’t worry about it, he says—
waving your money away
with his face-consuming grin.

And we are on
to East Chicago,
where the roots of you grew—
leaning my head
on your shoulder
that for 16 years
I’ve trusted
to take me home.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

photo © 2014 Ian Wagner

Monday, August 4, 2014

recipes for hemlock

recipes for hemlock

Excited to have a poem of mine in the first anthology by Boston Poetry Magazine.  Editor Mike Jewett did an excellent job putting this together.  Click image to get your copy and check out some poetry from the dVerse community as well as the talented voices of some others included in this anthology.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Our waitress
takes us down
to tour the cellar

added after
they bought the place.

They set it up
for private parties now
at Valentine’s Day.
President Bush (she doesn’t clarify which)
celebrated his birthday here once—she says

—and in
the close space
I contemplate
the smallness
of powerful men.

we walk—
up, up
the staircase
to patrons
clinking glasses
and slicing
into crab encrusted steak.

We imagine
the horses
out back, back in the day,
as lovers
now sit
in the courtyard
sipping cabernet.

we roam
the upper level in quiet,
look out onto the street,
the mist
of history
in the air.

Your voice
a half-whisper of awe,

it must
have been so cool
working out
of a station like this.

We descend
to the door,
to the sidewalk

and rain
greets us, pattering about
like a welcome home.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Enjoyed our trip to the Chicago area, where my husband was born, to visit family and to celebrate our anniversary and birthdays.

Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner
(click link if you want to know more about this historic building)
Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner


Friday, August 1, 2014

Slice (Cinquain)

photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner

deep dish
vine ripened plum tomatoes
fresh mozzarella and flaky, buttery crust
fork, knifeMalnati’s is a Chicago-style smile in
a slice

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner