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Abigail George: The Owl House


(Three untitled poems in one untitled poem.)

Perhaps you’re leaves found in a courtyard.
Or like me, a woman who is longing for a
child in a city of mothers, atoms, particles.

Wiping the silence away with a damp cloth.
In a house made of flowers. Perhaps you need to
Find things that sing to you with a thimble

And a needle and thread to make perfect tiny
Chain stitches to make sure your heart stays in
One place. Your head bowed over your work.

Make sure before you give your heart away.
Perhaps you’re king and I’m your queen although
I know that I am not the only one. Walking

In the heat all day in your shadow. Perhaps
You’ve fasted. Found yourself in the wilderness.
With Moses, the burning bush, manna from

Heaven. Perhaps you’re the alchemy in a clock, place,
Order, routine that I’ve been looking for all this

Perhaps you’re the self-imposed exile living
In Canada or the writer in residence in Germany.

I’m church going (are you), I’m city people,
(and you). I remember the cattle in the rain (do you).

Perhaps you’re still here but you’re with
Someone else. The fact still remains you’re not here
With me. Once you were perfect for me.

I still hold onto the symphony of your name.
Except of course you’re in the family way now.

In a faraway city burning time with your face
of love. When the child arrives everyone important

In your life will be there. I’ll be playing the
War-torn wife from a safe distance.
You’re poem inside of a poem

(birds feeding in a park)
The youth doomed to sacrifice.
It hurts too

(the memory work of nature behind mid-winter)
Much. The translation
of day into

(you’re a plum, warm in my hand)
Night. Night into
Day. Dreams come

(suffering and sorrow are twins)
Under the skin.
There’s a hunger

(you give up your essays on man)
for it, that
goes without saying.

(I’m in a race against time)
Daughters are infinite
with their coaxing

(matching couples mating for life like your parents did)
Fingers. Their exaltations.
I had sleep

(boys with museums in their eyes)
to keep me
company. The whir

(every girl wants to be part of a couple)
Of constellations.
Daughters always

(the opera is a music school inside my head)
Saying yes with
their sad eyes

(you face is wet, did you not know it was forbidden)
To pleasure and pain.
Bringing it to life.

A wedding, alchemy, death, eternity and myth speeded up.
Autumn’s house is

filled with the anguished strongholds of owls. Here we sing.
Here is where we stand.


Poem © Abigail George
Image by Cdd20 from Pixabay (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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