The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Toni Hanner

the man killed on the street wore


a crown of blazing pine cones
and a bouffant taffeta gown.
bracelets of telephone cord
wound up his arms.
the man killed on the street
was bound to die soon
one way or another. he chose
car. the doctors had offered
poisons. his wife had tried suffocation.
when he walked out into the street
that night in the rain in the dark
the passing cars were confounded
by the small fire encircling his head.
fascinated, one by one
they struck him down.



Toni Hanner

The Wedding


Halfway up the aisle
a small China robin’s egg
falls from her bouquet
and rolls off under
Mrs. Sherman’s pew,
making a skittering sound
like a child laughing
beneath a lake.

Halfway up the aisle
she knew that her life,
having never really begun,
had ended.


le mariage
À mi-hauteur du bas-côté,

un petit œuf bleu de Chine
tombe de son bouquet
et roule sous le banc de l'église
où Mme Sherman est assise:
un trottinement espiègle
comme un enfant qui rit
sous un lac.

À mi-hauteur du bas-côté,
elle savait que sa vie,
qui n'avait pas encore commencé,
avait pris fin.




TONI HANNER's book Gertrude (Traprock, 2012) was a 2013 finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her poems appeared frequently in MARGIE. She is a member of Red Sofa Poets and Madrona Writers. She writes and teaches poetry writing in Eugene, Oregon. A passionate francophile, she has been studying French for ten years. She first wrote The Wedding / le mariage in French, then translated it into English.



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