Wednesday, February 28, 2024



At the mutant hospital

we grilled burgers and dogs

and listened to baseball on the radio.


What else could ease our rehabbing hearts?


Jimmy insisted on using bamboo chopsticks—

don’t ask me how he does it, but he does.

I nodded, but ate mine from the pocket of my glove.


Both of us sighed

knowing the Babe would be proud—

a hot dog between each finger

and a cigar after, or during,

as our preference allowed.


The nurse came to tell us to,

“put those OUT!”


But “OUT” means something different

when you’re on defense,

so, we just grinned victoriously

at her ever-increasing scowls.


From there in the yard,

we dreamed of donning our disguises

and escaping to our own field of dreams.


Me, in my beret,

trying to avoid people’s eyes

spinning like pinwheels

and glazing over

when I tell them I write poetry

(don’t look at me like that,

people have been writing it

since the dawn of time).


And Jimmy, dressed up

like a Spanish conquistador,

or a brightly colored piƱata,

to avoid the inevitable comment

that he’s “too smart for his own good,”

which means he’s too smart for theirs.


But that’s why we’ve teamed up—

our gifts being misunderstood.

We know “mutant”

is another name for a special kind of

talent, a genius, a crackerjack.


And if you get it,

buy me some—

I don’t care if I never get back.


© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


For Shay’s Word Garden Word List—Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

I used 11 of the given words.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Quiet Gifts


They were found

placed ever so neatly

on the stair.


A bit of dirt,

small twigs,

a crumpled leaf, in parts.

Evidence of

your last climb.


The last few hours

we’d hugged you,

pressed your paw,

fed you cookies,

gathered round

your bed.


How soundless

when pain leaves

the echoing room

with sunlight rising

and falling


on a

bit of dirt,

small twigs,

a crumpled leaf, in parts.


Small, quiet, final gifts

regretfully swept away

after parting.


© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


For Sumana’s prompt at What’s Going On?  Aubade (traditional or modern)


For our beloved labrador, Druke, 2000-2016.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024



You were so small

when you showed me your hands

with your fingernails

painted silver.


How you smiled

so proudly

as I showed you


my toes

to match.


Little dream one, I know this—

your hands

are meant to write me,


my midnights


but ribboned with silver linings.



© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


This prompt at Poets and Storytellers United came at the perfect time.  I recently had this silver-themed dream and had been intending to write a poem about it.