Vivian Wagner


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 chapbooks, The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press). Visit her website at


I walked through the

woods this morning

and saw not the Lorax

but ground made of

diamondfrost, two

cardinals darting

through branches,

deer tracks, frozen.

And I realized all of

these were him,

speaking in slow motion,

pleading to be saved.


The cemetery out my

window is steady,

not unchanging, exactly,

but not moving as quickly

as the coal trucks passing

on the road between us.

We all need a cemetery to

gaze upon, the gray

stones reminding us of

the joy to be found in fealty,

the stillness giving us pause.

Staying Put

I’d like to travel

through time right

at this point,

this place I sit,

back through seas

and dinosaur lairs,

around ancient villages

and smoking camp fires.

And I’d love to

spend a few

fallen moments

exploring the

apple orchard that

was my backyard.