Showing posts with label Loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Loss. Show all posts

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fields of Remembrance

Cut corn stalks in the wind” video by Maria Wulf at Full Moon Fiber Art

The howling of the wolves,
the empty stalks,
this is home now.

Remember when we had it all,
before the burning, the chafing,
the emptying?

I won't cry, though;

tonight, a full moon
reveals the sickle-swept rows
we hid between,

and our ghosts laughing
and playing,

reflecting us
as we always should have been.

© 2016 Jennifer Wagner

For Artistic Interpretations at IGWRT, featuring artist Maria Wulf. 

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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Prince and me, circa 1977

He was puffy and fluffy
and rarely barked.

I was in the car
that ran over him
the night he died. Six years old

and sitting in the backseat
between my mom and Shirley
as we headed out for dinner. Louie’s Chinese.

Shirley’s husband, Harry,
was the driver. A sweet, adorable man.
A diabetic whose foot later developed gangrene.

He felt terrible, of course.

I felt indescribable.

How do you say
how you feel,
your first prince’s yelps
stinging everything?

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner

There are things we lost
in the flood

or after it
in the seeping, standing water

up past our hips.

It’s no use;
they’re gone.

Remember when
I told you

I thought
we weren’t strong enough,

maybe we
were too damaged

to make this work?

But you
only remember me saying

I’d stay
and let you try.

And for that
you’d give up everything, again,

because everything
means nothing.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

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

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bloodless March

i can tell you what
a dried orange peel feels like
hanging on—
wrapped in yesterday’s color
now a duller shade
possessed by winter
contained in the glass bowl of night
where mango and cinnamon
and cardamom
die on my lips scented citrus
nut hard and inedible
a shade
of passion’s fruit
wheeled out on gurneys
of seasons past

Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


26 reasons
to remember why
He came

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

It’s Christmas, but I find it difficult to feel celebratory.  I know most are probably feeling the same way with hearts heavy and broken from last week’s devastation.  And yet I am reminded of why He came.  He came not because He wanted us to decorate trees and drink egg nog and rack up credit card debt giving gifts.  He came because we are in darkness, and He is the Light of the world.  John 8:12  Come, let us behold Him.  Perhaps we have never needed to more.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Settling Upon November

The artistry of SueAnn.  Used with permission.

Damp yellow leaves
and a hanging gray

settled upon November

with sharp scents of burning wood
and smoke encircling chimneys.

Head down, she trudged ‘home’

rain splattering her jacket
and hiding bright tears.

November, the month

she knew more than leaves
were dying.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Stepping with bare toes across
meadows of balsamroot
I glide swiftly on grasses
soft from last night’s rain.

Quietly slipping between rocks
I meet the gush of spray;
with full pupils down,
tiny rivulets cascade my bare shoulders.

Droplets form and cling precariously
to my hair, responding as I shiver;
a flirty audience of aquilegia formosa
quivers with the steady rush.

The voice of the waterfall
is a mighty quenching of everything;
a gushing spray of explosion and tranquility, reverberating
like the sound of a mother’s heart in a growing womb.

I didn’t come here to grieve, only to soak
in the majesty of a paradisiacal place;
but my heart remembers and wishes I could have buried you here,
instead of where you ended up, in pieces, on porcelain.

I feel embryonic in the moment, wholly enveloped, naked, treasured.
Coming alive in the lusty boom, I scream, and moan,
and grieve, leaving everything here on these ancient stones—
laboring with the violent echo of women’s loss before mine.

I hold hands with the knowing barren wombs
and weep the deficit that will never feel your sigh at my breast,
your pink mouth to my skin, see the shine of accomplishment in your eyes.
They know how I feel—you were brief, but you were mine.

I let you go, but still carry you with me as I push through;
emerging back into the sun of life, weaker and stronger,
spent, and refreshed, sprinkled with pure minerals,
with lilac and wild lavender, and just a hint of baby’s breath.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

found in The Beautiful Sadness, dVerse and Poets United: Poetry Pantry