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

Thursday, March 7, 2013

City Park

City Park, Carpe Diem

across the pond
your lonely childhood
in an empty swing

Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Have You Seen This? You Want To.

To This Day 
by Spoken Word Poet Shane Koyczan

Well worth every minute.  You will be moved.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Postcard 77

i had just turned six when
Elvis died
my mom with her long, dark hair
and my aunt, blonde and long too—

sat out on the steps
with their friends
and their short shorts, sobbing;
Tab and real Pepsi
in the bottle
Virginia Slims between the index
and middle

i watched,
barefoot in the warm shade;
topaz eyes full and wide,
little legs tan; and tendril-bleached,
umber hair, wild—

even i knew i wouldn’t  forget
where i was that day
when i heard
‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’
in the background
and cried too

Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

Sliding in to link up with the amazing poets at dVerse Poets Pub for OpenLinkNight.

revised 2.6.13

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Jukebox (Boombox), Baby

Joan Jett on cassette
softball summers
of field-dirt-crusted scabs
on my knees
and thighs
sliding into second
my dad said I never did it quite right
because there should be more on my thighs
if I were

a cherry Tootsie Roll Pop
with a ‘tude
sneaking gin and Jack Daniels
and smokes
dreaming of VW Super Beetles with glitter in the paint
or a ‘64 convertible Mustang, cherry red too, of course—
and The Outsiders

in audible
relief, mom and dad,
I didn’t turn out wielding
a six-string and blowing sugar pops
but still I do
Love Rock ‘n Roll

Copyright 2013 Jennifer Wagner

At dVerse Poets Pub master prompter and poet Stuart McPherson has us writing about 'Growing Up'

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Frozen Yesterday

I tied his little-kid size 12 gray converse shoes
while he crunched almonds
and bragged between swallows
about beating me at Go Fish.
I hid my grin
and tried to look disappointed
for losing.

Zipping up his green hoodie
we left
for afternoon Kindergarten
at 11:55.
He was concerned
that his friend wouldn’t be at school—
he’d made a paper Christmas tree
and put it into an envelope,
scotch-taped a blue candy cane to the outside
for a little present.

Walking him to the line,
I said “have a great day, buddy,”
then waved and watched as he walked through the doors,
backpack almost as big as he is, bouncing.

I thought of how many parents did this today,
leaving their hearts
in a five year old body
on cold tile floors.

And I couldn’t leave the parking lot.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner 

Dear God, dear God…more tears than words for all who are gripped in this horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT.
Got the jump on this prompt with Brian’s post yesterday.  Linking up with the amazing poets at dVerse Poetics.  I'll also be linking to The Poetry Pantry.

When words are few, perhaps there is a song.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wild Peaches and the River

 She tucked me into bed,
wrapped me in
an age-worn quilt
and I slept like the baby I nearly was.

When I woke,
I pulled the quilt around me
and tiptoed across the old wood floors
covered with braided rugs.

Rubbing sleep from my eyes,
I entered the kitchen
and watched her sitting at the farm table,
with a cup of steaming coffee, slicing a wild peach.

Her hands were still strong then;
and even now I never see a peach,
smell one, taste one,
without thinking of her.

She laughed, her mellow way, eyes crinkling,
when I said how much I liked the sweetness
but not the fuzzy skin which poked
like a prickly moustache against my mouth.

Overheard her saying, later
that she ‘got tickled’
when I’d said the pigs rooting in the pen
looked like they had ribbons in their tails.

When I’d trailed her
to the rabbit cages
and saw a mama rabbit
eat her own baby

she didn’t shield me
from the horror of it,
but let me ask the hard questions
and answered them, best she knew.

‘Fascinating’ is what I’d called it,
when asked about it back home.
And she was, too,
though I never said it.

Except at the cemetery overlooking the river
when I wished her back
to see me enjoy the sweetness in my life,
to bring lightness when it poked;

and because the questions
have only gotten harder.
But mostly, to hear her ‘tickled’ laughter
one more time.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

For Grandma.  Rest in peace, we so often rested in yours.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baiting Hooks with Luke

At 9 years old
it’s funny how
half the bait slips off the hook
before it hits the water.


A lonely barely-bit of bait,
not worth a triploid trout’s time, really—
makes it
into Rufus Woods Reservoir.

He shrugs, though, good enough—
just to get it out there,
sits down on the dusty rock
and waits
for a pulse on the line.

He owns this moment
as I watch him
smile a bit,
flick his foot in the water,
and gaze at the opposing hills;
while I wonder
what he’s thinking.

No more than half a minute goes by, and

‘Got one’ he says, not surprised, at all—
and begins reeling;
the rest of us look at each other,
shake our heads,
and laugh a bit in disbelief.

Something about
the faith of a child
to know you don’t have to
be perfect,

sometimes fish
are just hungry.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

to be linking up with the amazing poets at dVerse Poets Pub this week

Monday, October 1, 2012

Never Lose the Ability to Get Lost

blonde and brown
heads bobbling
with energy
they, like arrows,
pierce the earth
with exuberance
never losing
their silly, boyish grins
as i watch them
jumping, bouncing
wrestling each other
on the trampoline
where they forget
brotherly offenses
i hope they never lose this
ability to get lost
in the moment
with laughter
and forgiveness
like dollops of rain
drenching the
thirsty onlookers
and me the memory of it

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

my boys and how they work things out, my favorite people to watch…meant to link up to Brian Miller’s people watching poetics prompt, 6 Billion Others at dVerse, but got busy and was too late…so I’ll be linking it to openlinknight

Friday, July 27, 2012

Paper Dolls, 1950’s Single Mother

butter she
mixed with sugar
and fed to us
on saltine crackers

we washed it down
with powdered milk
we were poor
we were rich
we didn’t know either

until we
went to school
and our dolls of paper,
to friends whose had
vinyl and mohair
and real clothes,

became priceless
she’d made
them all
by hand

for Mom and for Grandma (Elaine Rogers, 1926 – 2010)
Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner
added to The Poetry Pantry

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Crickets

we held them
in an empty jar
holes popped into the lid

trickling grasses
and bits of dirt
to make their new home

they were always gone
by morning
set free as we slept

by grandpa
saving them
for tomorrow’s hunt

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Thursday, June 21, 2012


     spitting watermelon seeds
     through the new hole in his teeth

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Little Cowgirl

little cowgirl
on grandpa’s horse
ten             feet            tall

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wistfully Whimsical


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.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner