Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2024



I saw it sitting on an old pickup tire,

a butterfly

with sugar on its wings,


as we were wading

through weeds

up to our waists,


brushing our hands

on dandelions

turning our palms yellow,


breathing in sunshine,

climbing an abandoned tractor

in the field


to play—

maybe all afternoon,

maybe all summer.


It was gone

when we headed back

to watch Grandma feed the pigs,


and the dogs

lounging in the dirt

by the porch,


and to dunk our bread

into broth,

and bite into dark juicy plums.


And later,

I thought I saw it

from the window,


on the barn door

near where I had pulled off my boots

to climb a tree


and saw it watching me,

a butterfly

with sugar on my wings.




© 2024 Jennifer Wagner



dVerse Poetics:  Young and Green

Saturday, February 20, 2016

How To Get Rich

(according to my eight-year-old son)

First, manual labor.

Then, buy lots and lots
of football cards

until you get The One
you can sell
for lots of money.

And then, he says, buy more.

He looks over at two
nine-year-old boys walking
toward school
and says, sagaciously,

they don't care about manual labor.

I've heard them talking
when I've been walking home.
All they talk about is video games.

I pull up
to his drop-off.

Mom, what's manual labor?

Physical work, I say,
like building a house.

He nods, gets out for school.

How To Get Rich, For Parents:

First, drive your 8-year-old to school.

And then,
laugh the whole way home.

© 2016 Jennifer Wagner

football cards on my son's dresser
photo © 2016 Jennifer Wagner
manual labor performed to purchase cards: brushed dog, set table, took out trash
manual labor in order to purchase more: clean room

Friday, April 17, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday Morning Cartoons (with Oreos and Milk)

A father wakes up
before everybody else

and sets the world whistling.

Except on Saturday,
when he's supposed to get to sleep in,
but you jump on his belly
and pry his eyes open
to watch cartoons with you.

He doesn't mind, though,
because you're his.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For my daddy.

Dad, remember Oreos and milk for breakfast with Saturday morning cartoons? I do. Good times. :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Don't be a Scut Farkus . . .

Have a Merry Christmas!

I triple-dog-dare ya.

Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Peace on earth?
Good will toward men?
Your two front teeth?
An Official Red Ryder, Carbine Action, Two-hundred Shot, Range Model Air Rifle?

Whatever it is, I hope you get it.

Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner

I took these photos this past summer in Hammond, Indiana where my husband's awesome Grandma and Aunt live (and where he spent many summers growing up). A Christmas Story was based on Jean Shepherd's book of short stories based on his experiences growing up in Hammond (fictionalized as “Hohman” in the film). Grandma and Grandpa were friends of the real-life “Flick,” who got his tongue stuck to the pole in Shepherd's story. Grandma says it really happened. Today is her 90th birthday.

Enjoy the Christmas holiday, all . . . and be sure to drink your Ovaltine!

Sunday, February 16, 2014


i don’t want to be cute!
i hate being adorable!

when you want to
have muscles
and body hair
and drive a car

this is,
to a boy of six
with three older brothers—

a curse.

the curse of cuteness.

what do you
want to be?

with no hesitation,
all gumption and flash,
the reply: 


i laugh, and quickly try to stifle it—

because he really means it
i do

get what he’s saying—

he wants to be taken seriously
around here,

a mustachioed man/ninja/t-rex
to be reckoned with,

even if i do still help him
to put on his belt
and slick down the cowlick
on the back of his head.

i nod,
as somber and intent
as if i am making
a most grave and
solemn vow.

just between you and me—

he’s still so cute

it’s scary.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

shared at poets united poetry pantry

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


My hand in the river
of ice cold water
charges me even as the sun
weaves its warm and dreamy spell.

Cool pebbles bounce in the stream
and I am taken with them,
down, down, down,
and back up again.

Two smiles play on my lips—
contentment and mischief;
and I am sure that, today,
I don’t need more than this.

© 2012 Jennifer Wagner

One year ago today I began this blog and to commemorate I am reposting my very first post.  Thank you to all of you who have visited, read my work, and commented so thoughtfully over this past year.  It has been my pleasure to have been able to cross paths with you and I am looking forward to many more crossings! 

Also, my heart goes out to the people of Oklahoma suffering in the aftermath of yesterday’s devastating tornado.  May recovery be quick.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.  ~ Jen

Linking to dVerse, a most excellent place for poets to connect.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Remember Boys

Remember boys
Are tender souls
With mud stains
And Xbox games

Running fast
Looking back
Sword fights
Movie nights

Flexing muscles
Soda burps
Green slime snakes
And broken plates

Little men
In the making
Make my heart melt
With “Mom, I love you”

Little men
In the shaping
Their growing pains
Are mine too

Remember boys
Are tender souls
With dirty hands
And…pure hearts

© 2007 Jennifer Wagner

For the boys who delight me daily.  I am so grateful to be your Mom!  I wrote this not long after the birth of my youngest son in 2007.  I often cringe when I read my past work but the sentiment is there so I’m pulling it out of the archives to submit it to The Poetry Pantry:  Mothers Around the World.  Happy Mother’s Day to all moms…hope you have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

When You're Young You Don't Care About Appearances

dandelions are weeds they say
but to me they
are summer
and a fluffy snowflake
mixed-breed mutt who made a beeline for me
when i lay out on the kentucky bluegrass
of home
needing love

Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

I'm pledging to be a little less grown up today--and to link up with those amazing poets at the dVerse Poets Pub for OpenLinkNight #90!