Poetry by Vivian Wagner: Hide-n-Seek and Tastes of a Morning


I dreamt about shadowy men in
pine-forested mountains, on precipices,
chasing me, though I’d never be caught.
Always, I’d flit through granite boulders, away;
hiding, shifting there and here
was what I did, how I wanted
it to be, how I lived. I
haven’t had
that dream for years, but the
world has brought it back, and when
I fall asleep I
am afraid.
I still know how to elude, though. I
I still know how to run in
woods, how to wend
through branches toward the
creek, cloaked.


Tastes of a Morning

we don’t know
how what we eat
will sustain us
coffee, for instance,
provides a clear horizon,
cayenne a sharp reminder
of eating jalapeno peppers
from the can with your
father, sugar of your
sister’s diabetes,
almond milk of the way
your daughter is a vegan
this week, an egg
because you are not,
lemon water telling
you to take your iron
pill, because weakness
isn’t an option, and finally
a chocolate chip macadamia cookie
that whispers, go ahead,
break me in half
and savor.


Vivian Wagner is an associate professor of English at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. Her work has appeared in Zone 3, Silk Road Review, The Ilanot Review, KROnline, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Establishment, The Rumpus, The Manifest-Station, and other publications. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington), and a poetry chapbook, The Village (forthcoming from Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books). Visit her website at www.vivianwagner.net.