Friday, August 26, 2016


Resurgam “I Shall Rise Again”
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Photo © 2016 Jennifer Wagner

At Ricardo’s
our hostess tells us
the swallows do return yearly
from Argentina,

though most nest at the hospital
now it’s the highest building.

They don’t tell you that—over there,
she quips, with a smirk and a nod
toward Mission San Juan Capistrano
and the ruins of The Great Stone Church.

Funny she reveals it to us here,
sitting in its shadow,
netting foot traffic
from history and legend.

But I appreciate candor,
cool and featherless—like me,
here in the shadows, post-quake,
growing less blind and
getting ready to rise again.

© 2016 Jennifer Wagner

Note:  In 1806 The Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano was completed.  It was devastated by an earthquake in 1812.  Migrating cliff swallows from Argentina return yearly in March to use the exposed eaves of the ruins and surrounding areas to nest until October. 


Tank said...

Great poem! I love the theme and humor!

Jody Lee Collins said...

The visit to see the swallows (and the Mission!) is a requirement of all Southern California 4th graders, for which I was grateful.
We took our own children there to visit as well.
Seque-ing (is that a word?) 'resurgam' into your own life is quite clever.Well done. (and great photo!)

Wendy Bourke said...

I enjoyed this piece. You've struck on a wonderful conversational tone, here (I can hear the plates clacking in the restaurant background) - and it's edifying, to boot - a bit of back story on an old Pat Boone song from my childhood days: "When the swallows come back to Capistrano; that's the day you promised to come back to me."

Welcome back from your holiday, Jennifer!

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully composed delight. Thank you for this

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Hi Jennifer! There is something magical here in the setting at the cafe and in the fact that the swallows find their way to a ruin every year to rejuvenate --

brudberg said...

So wonderful.. the tone, but also the idea of how we are connected other words through those migratory birds... I see them as thin lines of communication that we should use. This could be a very nice idea for a whole set of books.

janetld said...

Glad to see you again, Jennifer.
This is one of my favorite poems of yours ever.
Very rich and layered.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

This was cool and multilayered and clever. Yes, sometimes they don't tell you the truth, but that's ok. Nice to see you post after a long ....time away. Like the new profile pic as well. - mosk

Magyar said...

__ Again, a grand verse, Jen_!

Again the poets
return to their source
union's thought.


Grace said...

I love the snapshot of your travel Jennifer~ Its cool to know the history, as well as the honest stories from the folks there.

grapeling said...

so you were *3* miles from me. darn. woulda been nice to meet you and your family. or at least have a coffee. ~

Jennifer Wagner said...

That would've been fantastic. Next time!