Maryfrances Wagner

For What We Don’t Know

I am unsure of the world, but my dog reads
what’s underground, what lingers around trees.
She lives by what she hears lurking in spaces we don’t know.

Tonight the sunset will expose thin, broken limbs
and gild them in a certain glow
before day dissolves and winks again.

For all trees losing ground,
for all passersby, our porch light—
mystery of blue haze and a small arch—gleams

for the dog tilting her ear, for birds, for the moon
hiding its stars and silvering the snow.

Maryfrances Wagner’s newest books are The Silence of Red Glass and The Immigrants’ New Camera. She co-edits I-70 Review, serves on The Writers Place board, was 2020 Missouri Individual Artist of the Year, and is Missouri Poet Laureate 2021-2023. Poems have appeared in New Letters, Midwest Quarterly, Laurel Review, American Journal of Poetry, Poetry East, Main Street Rag, Rattle, Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, et. al. For more information, check her website:

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