Friday, April 17, 2015

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Stretched out on the grass
looking up at the stars,
hands tucked behind their heads,
feet crossed at the ankles, bellies full--
fat for the sacrifice
of what lurks, stalks them
in the dark: werewolves, zombies, orcs . . .

While dragons skitter-fly by
on iridescent wings
they craft stories
from far away worlds
to see which of them
can scare the others most.

A fir wood fire crackles in the pit.
Marshmallow bits stick to their lips.

Can I have your room when you move out?”

Laughing, with brave faces,
their eyes in firelight reflect the wonder
of what it will be like to be the first to leave,
be the ones left behind.

A large spark darts skyward
splitting unspoken thoughts
and they turn back to stories of goblins, of ghosts,
on this warm night in brothertime,
shaking off the growing chill
of jitters a bit more real.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For dVerse Poetics: Brothers/Brotherhood. Hope you come and join in the fun!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sailin' On

She has an oil tanker sized chip on her shoulder
and it's become the only thing I see.
But still I play nice,
though my loyalty is waning.

It's not so much giving up on her
as it is giving up on it: loyalty,
probably my best and worst trait
when it comes to those I love.

But, it's time,
because oil tankers are no beauty queens
while ugliness spills like the Exxon Valdez,
and because I am bound for fairer seas.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dear April

image © 2015 Jennifer Wagner,
photo of my home calendar

You don't fool me. Though
you start off that way.

Yes, you slosh rain
from infinity buckets,
but you smile
just the same
from the ground up--
jelly bean tulips and buttery daffodils
springing round
like long-lost jewels.

And even though it's time
for the bogey-tax-man,
you balance him
with a month of poetry
and the crack
of a bat and Big League Chew
(Original, Grape, Sour Apple, and Watermelon!).

So, you're not really fooling me, April,
as much as you think you are.

T.S. Eliot said you are
the cruelest month,” but
at least more often than in March,
there is guaranteed
one Good Friday
and a Resurrection reminder
(coming back from the dead
really can't be beat).

Plus, your flower is the daisy (my favorite)
or the sweet pea,
which always reminds me
of the song my dad would sing,
Oh, Sweet Pea, come on and dance with me . . .”
riding along with him in his truck--

after which he'd switch it off
to bellow into the CB,
breaker 1-9, this is Gladiator.”
No one's dad is as
cool and tough as a Gladiator, right?

you don't fool me, April.
I think you kind of like me.

P.S. I kind of like you, too.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

And, Happy National Poetry month!

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Image by Karsten Hohmeier
Every now and then
a poem stays with me
or a line

gets stuck
in the groove of the vinyl
of my mind,

like you do,
and I let it play.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Poetry Pantry

Friday, March 27, 2015


Image by Dawn Hudson
I'm a patchwork sketch
with patchouli rest
between my breasts---
and you
press, indent,
your heart
around me.

And this,
keeps me here---clear,

as each window lilac breeze,
each fringe and tassel,
wisp of candle flame,
needs a frame.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wedding Gift

The chime is engraved
with a lighthouse,
a harbor,
a ship on the sea.

It hangs from the eaves
above our deck

and has, for nearly
seventeen years,
sprinkled its tune
at every house
we've called home.

It fell
in a major storm,

was never broken, but
lay serenely
at our feet

ready to give light, melody.

And though
I tire of wind,
of storms,
it's taught me to listen,
                       trust light
play on.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


lion dots her i
with a little sun

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Friday, March 6, 2015


Toril “Smells Like Rain”

Winter moans elsewhere ---but here
within me,
yesterdays roam,

Like spring rain. Staccato.

My poems are wet ash.
My skin, sand through hourglass.

I make
for shelter,
a grain too late---

in clouds of least favorable reflection.
And though I'm determined to at least pace them,

I know
I can never outrun
the rain.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Art with Toril.