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Six Poets: Hannah Lowe

Photograph by Tim Ridley

Photograph by Tim Ridley

In this poem from the third of the Six Poets at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Hannah Lowe takes us into the darkness of the heart of a family:


Say that your mother took in a lodger.
An old man say, down on his luck,
mostly out of the house
or asleep, no bother.

Say they grew closer, his voice in the kitchen,
her laughter, his old-fashioned shoes
next to yours in the hall.
Say he sometimes cooked dinner —

the four of you eating lasagne.
Your mother was plumper and happier.
Say you were eating your pudding
(hot custard, banana)

and all of a sudden the lodger was standing
and punching your brother, and after
you cried in your bedroom for hours.
And say that the lodger
was really your father, no, say.

from Chick (Bloodaxe)


Hannah Lowe’s pamphlet The Hitcher was published in 2011 by The Rialto. Her first book-length collection Chick was published earlier this year by Bloodaxe and is currently shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize. Rx, a chapbook of love poems, will be published later this year by Edinburgh based publisher sine wave peak.

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