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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 10: October 2021
Poem: 189 words
By Dianna Henning

In the Aftermath of Afterwards

 
The leash snaked home trailing the dog. 
But the man walking his Samoyed was missing. 
Who wonders if darkness is evaporation, 
a dewy substance lifting off branches?


The flashlight was nowhere in sight. 
Lily sped inside as though spooked, 
tongue long as a man’s necktie. 
Where was the man who’d walked his dog? 

Lily’s tail fanned the entryway. She barked. 
You said, Be quiet, where is he? Every fear 
a prelude to the unimaginable. Perhaps 
his heart gave out, hair frosted 

over snow. Nighttime drivers can’t discern 
one shadow from the next. He might 
have looked like a roadside bush or perhaps 
someone picked him up, held him hostage 

for love. You lock Lily in her crate, 
slip on your jacket, walk out his route. 
The wind slaps your back, you punch it back. 
A steady stream of calling out his name 

renders nothing. Blizzardly snow descends. 
You hightail it back home. The man 
you’d been looking for opens the door. Where 
the hell have you been, he asks. Adding, 

“I know you like to make snow men, 
but really, darling, in this weather?” 

Dianna Henning
Issue 10, October 2021

lives with her husband and their Samoyed on six acres in a forest of oaks and ponderosa pines in Lassen County, California, where they enjoy the solitude and beauty. Soon after moving to Lassen County, Dianna founded The Thompson Peak Writers’ Workshop, which has been going for twenty-six years. As she says, “The work by others inspires me to be my very best writer.”

For more information, see Brief Bio at the author’s website:
https://diannahenning.com/

 
 
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