Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts

Monday, February 27, 2017


Photo © 2017 Jennifer Wagner

Each season has its own offering.  Spring buds.  Summer glows.  Autumn colors.  Winter shrouds.  In winter, we hold contradictions up to the waning light, swirl them round the glass, sip.  Our losses are bettered in this reflection, when we can begin to see what good comes even after the fissured earth cracks again, when what remains softens, fills.

how silent now
this path strewn with jagged stones
a softening of snow

© 2017 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

After Suicide

He still goes over to his house,
sits in his room,
says a lifetime of goodbyes to ashes
--what's left
when the oxygen of hope thins,
choked out by the rasping fire-of-lies
believed at just-turned twenty.

Remembering often in stories,
as the living do
of the dead--
he laughs,
breaks, bitterly.

And when reads to me what he writes,
how it is to lose a brother,
memorializing what was,
he ends it
the only way he can.

You don’t know what you’ve done to me.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

At the end of August my son's best friend since he was 11 years old committed suicide at the age of 20. A crater-sized hole has been created, and though I know it is a pain that will remain for the rest of his life, I pray for it to lessen for him and for all those who loved Baily. He is greatly missed.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Upon Departure

He calls to say
he'll be late:

had a D.O.A.
at shift change

(paperwork still to be completed,
tasks to be checked off).

And I can't help but think
that is
how it is,

for the lady who succumbed,
for the sister, now, who had been taking care of her,
for each of us

one day.



© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cannot Stop It

It sickles out a living
when you're not looking,

takes a piece of you,
leaves a part of it
on you, in certain scars,
you can never shake.

Sometimes it's something
you hope you'll get
to sleep through,
like when the babies
finally keep bellies
full enough
for you to miss midnight--
your circadian rhythm,

But even though
you think
you're ready,
you're not yet ready-ready,
and tend to say,
it's coming, one day,

though you know enough
to know
it's already here.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Title spun from Emily Dickinson's “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.”

Friday, April 4, 2014

In Memory

photo © 2014 jennifer wagner

what is found
when we are
broken down
to remnants, to debris?

things we treasured,
things we valued?

as i read the names
of the lost and missing
my tongue

each   L
each   I
each   F
each   E
i gulp
and time

91 years
71 years
69, 67, 66, 65, 64, 63, 61, 60 years
59, 58, 55, 53, 52 years
49, 47, 45, 41 years
36, 35, 31 years
23, 21 years
19 years
14 years
13 years
6 years
5 years
4 years
2 years
4 months

how quickly, each,
in a moment’s breath,
like the morning fog,

to be summed up
not by things
but by those who cared,
who knew what made them
more than mist.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

As of today there are 30 people confirmed dead and 17 still missing in the landslide in Oso.  I tried to get all the ages of victims down here (some victims were the same age, of course); my apologies for any I have missed.
The team my husband is on will hand the baton to the next set of searchers and will likely be able to come home tomorrow for much needed rest.  We haven’t seen him since he left to be a part of the search but we have been able to talk.  He has some heartbreaking and amazing stories.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Snow like Eiderdown

When death comes
you find yourself trying to catch up to it,
to face facts,

like pulling on a winter coat
when the cold has already
bitten you clean through
and all that’s left is
dark acceptance.

You’ve had the denial,
the anger,
the bargaining,
the depression.

Now, you’re hunkering down
with no more Why God on your tongue.
You’ve realized what a colossal waste of time
that has proven to be,
as some questions
simply remain unanswered—
to your suffering.

But you pray, anyway.
Breathe in – sharp pain.
Breathe out – cry.
Breathe in – dull pain.
Breathe out –

a season of counted breaths
you decided to take in spite of the ache.
One broken foot in front of the other,
wincing as you wait.

For what?  You don’t know, but—






somehow bringing
a small peace, a light comfort
in the way of things.

You watch children
catch flakes on their tongues,
listen to giggles
and excited chatter
as they toss snowballs,

and soon realize
isn’t silent anymore.

© 2013 Jennifer Wagner

For the Poetry Jam prompt:  What Brings You Comfort?  Snow is comforting to mewatching it fallthe way it settles, covers everything, and of course watching kids play in it. 

I’ve been in Las Vegas for my son’s baseball tournament so it’s great to be back and see what I’ve missed.  Looking forward to making rounds and catching up with what you all have written!