Aftershock | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Where they are after real mourning begins and weighted breath makes you gasp.

The time that boy at camp held you underwater for too long and you were flaring, aching for air …

Where are they when you get married and wonder why your sister is not standing beside you as planned. Two bullets to her head are flashing the local headline,

Hospital Worker Killed By Psychiatric Patient.

Where are they when your mother tells you thirty years later, that she will never get over

Linda’s death. Her lungs filled with accumulated water, telling you, she wants to be buried next to her.

Blank eyed she asks, where will you be buried when you die?

Where are they when, you help your mom get out of the car with red roses to put on Linda’s grave, wondering if you can dive deeper, remove the weight of the secondary drowning. 

Submerged in murkiness.

They just don’t get why you can never stop mourning, blowing bubbles, underwater.

Where they are after her friends want to create some monument to her memory, instead you

dive deeper while you are left with


− Nina Padolf

Nina Padolf has her Ph.D. in educational leadership, from Argosy University, and her masters of arts in teaching, from Chatham University, and she is currently enrolled in Carlow University’s low-residency program, working on her masters of fine arts in creative writing, in poetry. She is full-time faculty for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online, where she teaches writing courses. Padolf lives in Greenfield. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on WESA 90.5 FM.


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