Poetry – Two Poems – Vivian Wagner


Stay-at-Home Order

Illustration by the amazing @LifeOfHedge

We adhere
to the moment,
affix ourselves
to desks and screens,
anchor our days
to tree roots stretching
beneath houses, attach
ourselves to faith.
The order’s binding,
shot through
with the power
of a legal bolt,
and we feel
the surety
of this bond,
braced against
its wording,
caught in its grip.
Society starts to cohere
and connect,
coupling impulse
with rule,
glued by fear
and hitched
by a hold
on the future.
As a hook
finds the soft
inner flesh
of a fish’s cheek,
so sickness
latches onto
our hearts,
our lungs,
uniting us
through our
cell walls.


Strange Spring

The cherry tree’s heavy
with blooms, bending
under the weight
of its blessings toward
a forgiving earth,
while grackles,
scratching a roof,
chuckle about the unseen
abundance of air.
I’d like to remember
what it was like
before everything
turned upside-down,
but instead must admire
what my eyes insist
on righting.


Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music(Citadel-Kensington); a full-length poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing House); and three poetry chapbooks: The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press).

Follow Vivian on Twitter and Instagram

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