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  • Joshua Wetjen


Updated: Jul 3, 2023

By Joshua Wetjen

Is this a good research question:

What happens when you die?

Is this about

the body letting go?

Or is my student asking,

where do

the racing tremors of our minds

find rest

once our consciousness here has ceased?

Outside my classroom window

naked branches on tall trees grieve the dead leaves

soon to be replaced.


happens slowly,

then all at once.

Buds will sprout

once the sun

allows the Earth’s question

to run its course.

Then once more, new leaves

with their thickened innocence

will block our view of the horizon.


Joshua Wetjen is a high school English teacher living in Minneapolis and working in St. Paul. When not grading or chasing his two children, he likes to tinker on his jazz guitar and try new restaurants with his wife. His work has appeared in Opossum, Newfound and Yalobusha Review.

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