After he died I cut down the trees.
I wanted as much light as I could get.
Stumps no fire could ash. The flesh of split
wood like clotted cream. I was up to my knees
in branches, finishing them off. In the breeze
made by all this space I wanted it
back the way it was. Dandelion clocks. Nettles. Thick wet
grass, and those over-ripe blackberries
squashed at the slightest touch. That garden's gone.
We'll rotavate, level and turf it. We'll
grow another garden where the kids can run
naked, like Eden before death. A year's over. I'm
still learning he's gone. Silence. Here's my breath. Listen.
Kids are laughing while this year's apples fall.
"These are poems of toughness, delicacy and great dignity. They open up effectively from the private to something which can move the reader who is right outside the situation. Robert Hamberger trusts colloquial diction to carry a weight of emotion, and it does."- Helen Dunmore
"With its mixture of compellingly straightforward narratives and haunted, dreamlike lyrics and its sure but relaxed sense of formal control, Warpaint Angel is an unusually satisfying and trustworthy first collection." - Carol Rumens