Thursday, May 9, 2024

She, Who First Brushed My Hair


Photo © 2024 Jennifer Wagner

She, caretaker of the delicate,

loves lavender, and roses,

and has the most

extravagant in town.


Loves memories of

Neligh and being

the only one Grandma

would let try on her fine jewelry.


Loved paper dolls and babies,

wanted one with brown eyes,

and because God was listening,

got two—


me, her first, for

she, who first brushed my hair—

her baby born early,

born with none,


a lost heartbeat, found—

kissed my hands, day one,

kissed them, two—


she, caretaker of the delicate, her doves,

she, who first brushed my hair.



© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


A Mother’s Day poem for my mama. 

Happy (early) Mother’s Day!

I was born early via emergency C-section due to being breech with a prolapsed umbilical cord and no discernible heartbeat to a very frightened first-time mama.  Also, I didn’t get hair for a while so my mom taped a little bow on my head until I did.  Haha.

She has the most amazing roses in her yard—passersby often stop and take photos.

Photo:  a note she stuck in the poem, “Étude Réaliste,” by Algernon Charles Swinburne inside a volume of poetry, Anthology of the World’s Best Poems, Memorial Edition, Volume V, 1950, which she gave me on my 50th birthday. 

And, because Mama loves roses and Elvis:


Shay’s Word List

dVerse OLN


  1. What a beautiful poem, dedicated to your mother, for mother's day. Just lovely....I really enjoyed it. Also interesting to read your note at the end. The love of a mother for her child....unconditional. Even in the toughest of times, a sassy teenager for example, the phrase to use is "I love you but I don't like how you're acting right now." Thanks so much for posting! Brings memories back for me....

  2. What a beautiful way to honour your mother and your precious memories ❤️

  3. Such a moving poem, Jennifer. Just lovely. I am so glad you were assisted into the world and arrived safely. Wow. I love that your mom taped a bow on your head until you grew hair!

  4. You were blessed, with life and with a mother who loves you.

  5. This is hauntingly, achingly beautiful. The love, the memories, the very uniqueness of this woman who was your Mom and loved you unconditionally. Awesome.

  6. A touching tribute to your mother, Jennifer. The moving title grabbed my attention, a poem on its own, and the line ‘Loved paper dolls and babies’ reminded me of my maternal grandmother.

  7. This is such a beautiful tribute poem! 🩷🩷

  8. Lovely poem and so full of life and hope. Works really well with the word list. Great writing.

  9. This is just such a tender and heartfelt tribute to your mom, Jennifer. I love "a lost heartbeat found." I'm so glad yours was.

  10. I enjoyed reading this heartfelt poem. :)

  11. What a gorgeous tribute, rich as a rose, to your beloved mother, "she, caretaker of the delicate, her doves" -- Loved it.

  12. Beautiful, beautiful tribute to your mom! Mother's love is special. ❤️

  13. Such a nice Mother’s Day piece, very thoughtful and caring. ❤️


Thank you for your thoughts!