T.R. Hummer

March 8, 2015 Hummer T.R.



They lay the old woman in the back seat of a car,

propped her there with pillows, packed

Necessities in the trunk. They drove through the town

where she’d lived for ninety years, passing

Banked azaleas, flags, an old bigot walking a dog,

the church parking lot of smoking slag, a street

Of shacks where children threw stones at a mangy cat.

They stopped at the clinic, where a nurse came out

With her injection. She would drift to the distant city

on a riptide of chemistry. Never to return

Seemed nothing. Never again faded in some oceanic

false recollection. What mattered now was the journey,

The horizon of unknown, shining buildings, the blaze

of hecatombs touched off in memory of the great departed,

The painless angels with their so far unmapped cruelties.

R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are After the Afterlife (Acre Books) and three linked volumes, Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor-in-chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a NEA Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Award in Poetry. He lives in Cold Spring, NY.