Two Poems

by Vivian Wagner

First Quarantine

It’s not something
you can train for,
not something to expect.
Rather, it’s a cold morning,
a cup of coffee, a weird
wobble in the air stream
leading to a polar vortex.
Nothing is as it seems.
The future will intervene.

Forward Motion

Morning’s here,
with rain falling,
still and ever.
Son’s leaving for
a job interview.
Daughter’s sleeping.
Cat’s keeping watch.
This is how the day starts,
and how, finally,
it begins to end.

Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. Her work has appeared in Slice Magazine, Muse/A Journal, Forage Poetry Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Gone Lawn, The Atlantic, Narratively, The Ilanot Review, Silk Road Review, Zone 3Bending Genres, and other publications. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington); a poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing House); and the chapbooks The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), Curiosities (Unsolicited Press), and Spells of the Apocalypse (forthcoming, Thirty West Publishing House). Varada J.M. is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.