Showing posts with label Motherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Motherhood. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2024

She, Who First Brushed My Hair


Photo © 2024 Jennifer Wagner

She, caretaker of the delicate,

loves lavender, and roses,

and has the most

extravagant in town.


Loves memories of

Neligh and being

the only one Grandma

would let try on her fine jewelry.


Loved paper dolls and babies,

wanted one with brown eyes,

and because God was listening,

got two—


me, her first, for

she, who first brushed my hair—

her baby born early,

born with none,


a lost heartbeat, found—

kissed my hands, day one,

kissed them, two—


she, caretaker of the delicate, her doves,

she, who first brushed my hair.



© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


A Mother’s Day poem for my mama. 

Happy (early) Mother’s Day!

I was born early via emergency C-section due to being breech with a prolapsed umbilical cord and no discernible heartbeat to a very frightened first-time mama.  Also, I didn’t get hair for a while so my mom taped a little bow on my head until I did.  Haha.

She has the most amazing roses in her yard—passersby often stop and take photos.

Photo:  a note she stuck in the poem, “√Čtude R√©aliste,” by Algernon Charles Swinburne inside a volume of poetry, Anthology of the World’s Best Poems, Memorial Edition, Volume V, 1950, which she gave me on my 50th birthday. 

And, because Mama loves roses and Elvis:


Shay’s Word List

dVerse OLN

Friday, November 17, 2023



Photo © 2023 Jennifer Wagner

She’s been gone

for a long time now.


A few summers ago

we visited the house in Valpo

where they’d lived as a young family

when the current occupant let us in


to look around

in what had been an old funeral parlor

they’d made a home

with a visiting bat.


I love that.


I wish I could have heard her laugh there.

In fact, I never got to meet her, and

she never got to hold her grandsons.

I’d have liked to have held her hand

when they were born.


But, Gretchen gave me

the little book of poems

she’d taken of her things,

all those long years ago,

pressing a flower from her casket

between the pages

never knowing what a memorial it would be—


a reminder

of how she still gets inside us

in each of those boys’ smiles.


She’s been gone

for a long time now.

But still here.


And I love that, too.



© 2023 Jennifer Wagner


My husband’s beautiful mom passed away at the very young age of 31.  When she died, his aunt took Rod McKuen’s book, Caught in the Quiet, from among her things and pressed a bloom from her casket in the pages of the poem “thirty-one.”  She gave me the book, and a way to hold her hand.


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