Jeanne Wagner


I poured out seasons, then years, then
Birth after birth, and every year I tried for a spring,
no matter how slight.
True, there was war and there was plague,
and that old perennial, death.
But such a gush of giving.
It felt like a woman’s water breaking
—then the pain.
I gave them both fire and its tinder.
A moon like an ivory tusk.
I was blamed.

Jeanne Wagner

has contributed to Cincinnati Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Florida Review, North American Review, and Southern Review. She has four chapbooks and three full-length collections: The Zen Piano-Mover, winner of the Stevens Manuscript Prize; In the Body of Our Lives from Sixteen Rivers Press; and Everything Turns Into Something Else, published in 2020 as runner-up for the Grayson Book Prize.