Showing posts with label Fire Service. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fire Service. Show all posts

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

Sunday, January 18, 2015

after the long hours

write me a song
with your eyes
like you do

hang up your helmet,
your axe,


© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Image © 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Two tenWord poems. Over at dVerse this week we were offered to play with the tenWord form. These two can be read together as one little love poem.

For Ian,
for Poets U,
and for all the spouses of firefighters...may the hours quicken!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Light, Interrupted

In one season
life can

its own color,

every inch of ground

in death
brewed from

an age-old

leave the path covered
with skyjacked shadows

of nearly
three thousand

who died from the spread
of the disease—

but as shadows

light interrupted,
they are not then, nor now,

light forgotten.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Our waitress
takes us down
to tour the cellar

added after
they bought the place.

They set it up
for private parties now
at Valentine’s Day.
President Bush (she doesn’t clarify which)
celebrated his birthday here once—she says

—and in
the close space
I contemplate
the smallness
of powerful men.

we walk—
up, up
the staircase
to patrons
clinking glasses
and slicing
into crab encrusted steak.

We imagine
the horses
out back, back in the day,
as lovers
now sit
in the courtyard
sipping cabernet.

we roam
the upper level in quiet,
look out onto the street,
the mist
of history
in the air.

Your voice
a half-whisper of awe,

it must
have been so cool
working out
of a station like this.

We descend
to the door,
to the sidewalk

and rain
greets us, pattering about
like a welcome home.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Enjoyed our trip to the Chicago area, where my husband was born, to visit family and to celebrate our anniversary and birthdays.

Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner
(click link if you want to know more about this historic building)
Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Search & Rescue

The last I heard from you was
at 5:30am

and I turn off the TV now
to rain forecast and reports
of mud to turn to quicksand.

I’m not supposed to worry.

I’m not supposed to worry.

I’m not supposed to worry.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Hearts and prayers and hands continue to go out for the victims and their loved ones of the mudslide in Oso, WA in which 14 have died and many are missing.  My husband is part of the USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team deployed in the rescue and recovery effort.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Finest Thing

High Angle Rescue Drill, Firefighter Ian Wagner
Photos © 2012 Ian and Jennifer Wagner Family

On the deck
sipping the last of summer
from my glass of iced coffee,
I’m drenched in a moment
of luscious sunshine,
one of the few left before
autumn’s return.

I’m watching our youngest boys
with delight—
plastic swords and shields in their hands,
attacking The Alien, also known as
the small green sprinkler
with four arms
and a mind of its own.

A miniscule, slate blue butterfly
flits by
and then a larger one, white and clumsy—
meanders by too.

Does it know where it’s going? 
I like thinking it doesn’t,
it just floats along, discovering.

But I know as I watch
two crows
wave west over my roof,
looking so purposeful,
that there are jobs to do, of course—
and each one of us has our own.

A neighboring apple tree
is nearly full of green-gold apples,
three Asian pear trees are laden too—

our Polynesian neighbor
will fill sacks full of the succulent fruit soon,
drop them off on our porch,
with his brown-sugar fingers
and white smile, wrinkled.

My contentment spreads,
a drunken, giddy peace
in the listening to leaves rustling—
still clinging, green, to trees.

They will fall soon enough,
as time keeps its own pace.

I’ll savor this good day
with the gray day of remembering looming,
ashy, grating,
for the grief of
New York’s Bravest, Best and Finest
and all who fell too soon.

But real, too, is the spirit
of what is the best of us.

And that has lived on.

I know it
in the browned fingers of giving,
in the bright laugh of the innocent,
and in your mouth on my neck—

like a breeze,
like sunshine.

I am reminded,
here, in this moment,
not eclipsed
by any large, evil scheme,
that come what may,

some will continue to Give,



And that is still The Finest Thing
on any given day.

© 2013 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9:11 am

Shift ends at 8am
and I look over at the clock

It’s odd to me he often arrives
at 9:11, post commute

I try not to think about
that nightmare

I had struggled to get
out of my mouth

Shaking and choking
as I tried to tell him about it;

The one where I am at his funeral
with our sons beside me

I just enjoy the moment
of being a firefighter’s wife

Enjoy his smile and laugh
full, when he bursts in the door

Sounding like the Ghost of Christmas Present
rich and deep, full of all things good

Today is the day I think about those photographs
with the towers in calamity

The firefighters rushing to, and in
while others are running away, and out

The looks on their faces
telling bravery is not without fear

It is committing to give
in spite of it

Not withdrawing
courage to save someone else’s spouse,

Someone else’s children
while praying someone will remember theirs

And I do

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner 

Posted to dVerse Poets