Hannah Gamble


Not understanding the difference
between affectionate
and malicious teasing,
my mother often became a combustion

who burned up the kitchen,
and burned up the bedrooms,

and her children would glow

with the pain of her fury
and even later on,
the eldest noted,
the heat-colored glory of sunrises

was difficult to bear.
“Better sleep and sleep
and dream of the cold
unpopulated ice-caves of Langjökull”

the youngest, often drunk,
was known to have said.


Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (Fence Books, 2012). Her poems appear in or are forthcoming from POETRY, jubilat, Court Green, Black Warrior Review, and Southern Indiana Review. She lives in Chicago.