Hannah Gamble


                                                                             —After Mary Ruefle

All my life I felt a heavy hand 

pushing some thoughts out

through the plushy curtains 

of this or that opera house

and holding other thoughts back

with a shepherd’s crook and a firm 

hand, or a firm look that says

Quiet. Still, I was grateful 

that I had decided some thoughts 

are worth the water and snackpacks

it takes to keep them alive.

When I watched television

I saw other people’s decisions

in motion: This one decides to keep

her baby; that one decides he will never again

leave his home. Even when I was not being

a poet, I was deciding how early to wake—

how early to begin the business of approving

and disapproving of the shapes 

I’d let my person take.

Hannah Gamble

<em>Edit Poetry</em> Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series and published by Fence in 2012. Her poems and interviews appear in APR, The Laurel Review, jubilat, Forklift, Indiana Review, and elsewhere.