Nonfiction: Dead End


                                     WHISPERING JUSTICE

            They found her three years back along the river.  She was last seen filling a prescription at an Akron drug store.  She called her sister.  She disappeared. 

            Divorced, no children, she had a record for drunk and disorderly, but never did jail time.  She called.  She disappeared.

            The computer operator misentered the data.  The girl from Akron was never connected with the girl along the river.  The D.A. doesn’t want to disinter the body.  The sister can’t afford to pay.  The acid soil in this county gets to keep what it has. 

            Her sister recognized the small rose tattoo on her shoulder.  Perhaps they updated the records; one never knows the things that connect one event to another, the missing plot, the computer operator having a bad day, needing new glasses, years passing. 

            The yellow clay the county sits on whispers his name against the shovel.  The river runs low.  That shoveling noise whispers, follows wherever he goes. […]

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About the Author:
Helen Ruggieri is the author two books of poetry – The Kingdom Where Everybody Sings Off Key and Butterflies Under a Japanese Moon. She has an MFA from Penn State and recent creative nonfiction publications in journals including The Citron Review, Frogpond, and Haibun Today. Like much of Ruggieri’s writing, “Dead End” is a mixture of Japanese haibun and nonfiction; in this case, each section is inspired by actual events.


About the Visual Artist:
Nadia Hassler (featured homepage work, Dawn Paddle) is an artist living in Madison, WI. She graduated from Depaul University in 2011 with a BA in Art, Media, and Design with a concentration in Fine Arts. Her work has been featured in several exhibitions, and will be included in “Impressions,” from June-July at Redampte in Madison, WI.