The National Poetry Review

Tom C. Hunley


Here lies Tom C. Hunley
stampeded by bridesmaids
who, in pursuit of a bouquet,
tore him apart like a cloud
shredded by wind though it still
looks like an elephant or a donkey
to those predisposed to see
elephants or donkeys everywhere
and the bridesmaids, impatient in the face
of so much wedding cake shoved
in their faces, all swore he looked
like a groom right up to the moment
when his lungs forgot how to breathe
and even then the saddest of them
saw him as a raft floating away
from her world of hurt

The bride cried as the EMTs
scraped Tom off the floor but then
she danced with her drunk father
until her drunk husband cut in
followed by the ring bearer crushing
against her waist before the groom
found his bride again the way
one half of a sandwich
finds the other half as Time
takes its little nibbles

TOM C. HUNLEY is a professor in the creative writing MFA/BA programs at Western Kentucky University, the director of Steel Toe Books, and the lead singer/guitarist of Night of the Living Dead Poets Society. His latest books are the poetry collections Plunk (Wayne State College Press, 2015), The State That Springfield Is In (Split Lip Press, 2016), and the edited essay collection Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015).

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