Agnes

By Jim Woessner

The two of them stood uncomfortably. The man motionless. The boy with his hands in his pockets, rocking from side to side.

“You suppose she knows we’re here?” the boy asked.

His father stared at the stone as the boy read the inscription to himself. He looked at his mother’s middle name and realized he’d never heard anyone say it out loud. It sounded strange. He looked at the flowers they’d brought. Yellow was her favorite color.

“You think she knows about the flowers?” he asked.

The boy saw his father glance at the flowers but remain silent.

“Where do you think she is?” he asked.

The man looked at the boy then back at the ground.

“It’s like she’s trapped somewhere,” the boy said. “Like she’s locked up and we can’t get her out ’cause we don’t have a key.”

The man sighed and looked up at the green hills surrounding the cemetery.

“Let’s go,” the man said.

The two walked silently back to the car along a row of gravestones. At the end of the row, the man stopped and looked at his son.

“There’s no key, boy. None that you’ll find no matter how hard you look.”

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Jim Woessner’s writings have appeared in the Blue Collar Review, The Daily Drunk, Close to the Bone, and elsewhere. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College, and he works as a visual artist and writer living on the water in Sausalito, California.

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