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Once There Was a Country: Three Poems by Abigail George



I called that country
‘Childhood’. The seashore
is just a sugared
Waterfall. The blue
day a confetti of
Wasted sweetness.
I have no use for water.
No use for tears.
Having a beautiful mother, Growing
up and then not
being beautiful
in that way made
Me braver. It gave
me courage. I know
what immortality is.

The day’s spirit
is made of an autumn chill and rain.
The change in the
environment a small inheritance.
Daylight’s geography
is a blood knot. I am
lost and found again
in the tired sea of
That difficult, empty
country. Once, I knew
what love was, what to call that
personal velocity, that
speed but now
I am at the end of the world.



I never went to
my aunt’s funeral.
Although I loved
her very much.
I couldn’t cope
with the grief of
losing her. Of never
seeing her again.
All I have is our conversations in the dark.
Her fragile life.
Her life, her life, her life.
Nothing ordinary
about her. Her
standing in the kitchen barefoot.
I think of writing

Her name in the
Sand every time
I go to the beach.
It will mean something to me.
Like the word ‘spirit’.
It will take away
The waves of regret
I sometimes feel
Of not going. Of not saying goodbye properly.
She’s ashen, salt,
And light. The key
To her soul a sword
In the same way
The pen that I feel in
My hand is to me.



Shy daughter, I want her to say
I never wanted you
To have abandonment issues. I never wanted you
To talk about our relationship
To a psychotherapist
Or write about how I
Never wanted you.
All I want her to say is three words;
I love you. Not even
I love you most of all
Or I love you best. Just
Three simple words; I love you. And two more words
You’re mine; and five
More words; I have
Always wanted you, and three more for
The darkness of this open road called life;
You were wanted.


Poems © Abigail George

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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