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Abigail George | Rebirth


(The Other Me Who Sent a Man to War)


I am the young woman in the photograph

with mousy brown hair and spectacles. I am

the owl found in the bloom of the universe.

I am the nurse at the Mercantile inheriting the

bird in the nest. I am sad in her eyes. One

button missing off a shirt, a drop of Jupiter. I

am a coral bead carried around in her mouth.

Hope was found in the circle of her waist. I am the

face of love. Terminal days pass through me.

The sunlight girl. I am a meditation of sorts. I

am silent. I am the law of day coming into

being. I am a country that loves the people closest

to me. The bird murmurs. Ruffles its feathers.

I look at the other me who sent a man to war.


I am from the ocean. I sip a cup of black tea.

You bird splitting the cloud. Your

city exists like pouring rain. Your particle is

stoned. Your atom is broken. You inhabit memory.

You speak. You were alone and clinging. Your horse.

You breathe. You slightly inhale. Exhale

slowly. Your dahlia bulb. You are imperfect. You are

kerfuffle. You are energy. Your illusion. You bird

road. You transport. Your map. Your house.

You shelter. You do not know love. You fear it.

You fear to love. You do not love aloud. Know

anything about it? You do not give yourself

away. You go in search of love everywhere.

I look at the other me who sent a man to war.


I am going to pilot this ship. I guess we’re the

most beautiful in youth burning wood. Lit.

The man sips a cup of black tea. He came to

the house to see if I was wife material. Send a

man to war but send a woman to the negotiating

table. The man was a lion. A lion eating the

dust of the colonial masters. The house is quiet

and all I can think of is death. Dying. My death.

Everybody is asleep but I am wide awake. The

dream of dust. The lull of botany. The death of

dust. May it flow into your bones and deliver a

harvest. Tragedy came before the triumph. Sometimes

we have to embrace the pain to inherit the family.

I look at the other me who sent a man to war.


Then, I am primal. Then, I am an animal. Then,

I am a cloud. Then, I am a lunatic spinning a web of

sabotage and self-destructive behaviour. Then

I’m an addict to all the clauses found in the feast

of night. Water was pure when the rain came early

morning. Goliath strong. There’s nothing romantic

about bipolar. That blue journey. Artistic muse

defunct. The air is so hot and dry today. I can feel

it in my bones. It’s introverted. Like the sea air.

The gull has quiet courage. Then, I roar. Boredom

has always been a compass for me. Bone and ink.

Ink is my private property. Bone sanctuary learned.

I look at the other me who sent a man to war.


Poem © Abigail George

Image: Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash (modified)

Abigail George
Abigail George
South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.

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