Life Preservers

– By Linda Wagner –


Red, blue, gray, green

four notebooks, four stories

treasured pages of life, death,

indelible relationships,

live forever in them.


Priceless faded photographs

my young mother laughing,

early ancestors dressed in black.

Time remains as it was;

we alone have changed.


I see loved ones, search their faces,

gazes suspended,

remembering voices

calling me home at twilight or

singing hymns of praise.


Records of passage

for grandparents I never knew,

pressed between images of

names and numbers on granite,

bearing witness to their existence.


My fingers touch images of the past,

and awaken a memory in my heart.

I cherish those who came before,

who walked, smiled, cried

and dreamed of tomorrow.


  • “Life Preservers” was published in the Greensboro Writers’ Guild’s most recent publication, “From the Inkwell IV: Flights of Imagination.” Linda Wagner is an avid genealogist, living in Madison.

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