After Nothing

He took my hand
that grey day
dark, muscled
trees emptied of birds.

As if I were watching
a grainy video
myself, led away.
The man was strong,
all twists, low voice.

It’s silent.
Shouldn’t have
taken the shortcut.
There’s nothing after
the path. See
maybe I was meant to.
Nothing after the
Or had to.

Deborah Derrickson Kossmann won the Short Memoir Competition at the 2007 First Person Arts Festival in Philadelphia. Her essay, “Why We Needed a Prenup With Our Contractor” was published as a “Modern Love” column in The New York Times. Her other essays have appeared in many other journals and magazine. She teaches in the graduate counseling psychology program at Rosemont College.

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