Tuesday, April 2, 2024


Photo © 2024 Jennifer Wagner


It was obvious

why she’d chosen the Marietta Diner,

in retrospect.


Spacecraft-esque and in Georgia.


She spilled a Coke

meant for someone else’s table

when she placed

a Cobb salad in front of me,


shaken by a few Russians discussing

the cosmonauts in a cloud of smoke nearby.


That’s when we’d recognized her

from a grainy photograph on the History Channel.

And of course, she’d had a different name.


Soon after, she’d been replaced

and we were told she’d taken ill.


But as we walked toward our Chevy,

there she was

crouching down behind it,

bumming a ride.


If someone is brave enough

to wear a red leather jumpsuit

and they ask for your help,

you know they need it.


So, we dropped her “anywhere,”

as requested.

She blew us a kiss,

and one toward the east,


then strode high, helmet in hand,

toward Narikala

and, we hoped, 




© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


For Shay’s Word Garden Word List


Since I recently returned from a trip to Georgia (state not country) and watched (tripped-out over) Season 1 of Constellation, this is what the muse gave.


National Poetry Month: Day 2



  1. I LOVE this story - especially the red leather pantsuit and needing a ride. Smiles. Wonderfully amusing.

  2. This is such a marvelous mix of the absolutely familiar and the absolutely outré. I had not heard of Constellation, but I have Apple+ and will be starting it TODAY, so thanks! It sounds like it is right up my weird little alley. (One good turn deserves another--have you watched Severance on the same channel?) I'm so tickled that such a favorite poet of mine has joined us at the List. Returning to the poem, it was the red jumpsuit that brought her fully into view for me. Anywhere indeed, like Ken Kesey's bus with destination sign Further. Astronauts must truly be a unique breed.

  3. She, in her red jumpsuit, was quite a character. I smiled at the comment about her being recognized from a grainy photograph on the history channel. Seems she was a time traveler. LOL. Hope she finds her way home.

  4. Great story and the poem was quite captivating Well Done.

  5. An "out of this world" poem, Jennifer. And the setting brought back memories of Georgia, perfect for its down-to-earth yet uncanny atmosphere. Like a snapshot of a longer story, this poem sets us on a trail of wondering. Loved it.

  6. The Muse gifted you with inspiration unparalleled ~~ plus I lived in Marietta GA way back when. Loved its quirky walkable downtown.

  7. Fun, quirky and one of my favorites. Makes me smile!

  8. Really enjoyed reading this strange, but funny poem.

  9. So many worlds revolving in this, each separate, yet somehow joined as stars are joined in the constellations we imagine them into for our own sanity and lore. The personality of both the narrator and title character are so clearly drawn as well, merely through showing them to us in this one fragment of interaction. Enjoyed this very much.

  10. LOL! Very cool. You stitched together a wonderful narrative from the word list, well done!


Thank you for your thoughts!