by Peggy Hammond

like the day an elderly woman drove
her SUV inside the shopping mall, cruised
by the Hallmark shop, bumped the
trash bin outside J. Jill. Everyone
froze, monuments of disbelief.
Only when she rolled down a window
and asked Do you know how to get out of here?
did movement begin again.
Some hit the record button while
others whispered loss of license
loomed. But some of us
felt tenderness,
felt her confusion echo
in our bones as if we all were
driving SUVs down the corridor,
searching for a directory,
searching for someone
who could show us
the way.

Peggy Hammond’s recent poems appear or are forthcoming in The Blue Mountain Review, Thin Air Magazine, Spare Parts Lit, The Hyacinth Review, Thimble Literary Magazine, Olit, Club Plum, UCity Review, Heimat Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She is a Best of the Net nominee and the author of The Fifth House Tilts (Kelsay Books, 2022). Learn more at