If you don’t have Jamella Hagen’s debut Kerosene on your bookshelf, drop what you are doing and go pick it up. Girls’ wrestling teams, mothers drowning rats in the bathtub, flamingos breaking through Bolivian ice--the poem’s subjects are as original as the author. You can also find Jamella’s work in journals and anthologies such as Arc, Event, The Malahat Reviewas, Unfurled: Collected Poetry from Northern BC Women and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010. She currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, where she has coordinated the Whitehorse Poetry Festival and is an instructor at Yukon College. Fun fact: Jamella is also a top-notch person to drive across the country with.
Yukon Insomnia Log by Jamella Hagen
Ten degrees colder than forecast and our breath frosted the tent walls with chandeliers of ice. All night we shivered as the wind roared like blood through an artery. By morning all the snow had blown off the ridge. We tripped across rocks in our ski boots. In the awful shelter of a pine, I held your feet in my armpits because they were so nearly frostbitten. The spring sun crested a distant ridge, pinning us in its gaze, and the air stilled to lift its chin toward that warmth.
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