Most People Would Rather Not

By Hannah Gamble Hannah Gamble
Most people would rather not,
but I indulge, every few weeks,
the thought of it. Sometimes

the oily smell of an evening flower appears
and hangs in the air, a slightly browner spot.

I think most people had it wrong when they said
forget about it and find a fresh patch 
of  grass to lie down in. 

There are prayers, though,
about that kind of peace. 

I have to admit, sometimes
I want nothing more than to be lying on the bottom
of an unimpressive river. 

I can watch all the leaves and sticks skim over my head,
and no one will bother me 
because they’re swimming
in the more impressive rivers.

The water’s not too cold. It doesn’t feel
like being dead.

It also doesn’t feel like being old
or fetal.

I came to the humble water to lie down.
I did what I set out to do.
Now I don’t have to tell you
anything more about it.

Source: Poetry (October 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2013
 Hannah  Gamble


Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (2012), selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series. She has received fellowships from InPrint Inc, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the University of Houston, where she served as an editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Gamble has been a guest on podcasts such as Radio Free Albion with Chicago poet Tony Trigilio . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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