BAREFOOT

for Vincent, Julian, Hilton and Mikale

I know this country. His
Country. Once it was mine to hold.
A gathering-wrangling crestfallen
Miniature world of longing
Dying to belong to modern society.

The familiar cells of sacrifice
Are there underground. There’s
No sun here but it’s still hot.
There was a time when I was
Increasingly occupied with fear.

The sky is blue and the grass

Green and I think to myself that is
All I know for certain. I plant
A seed and enjoy learning it is
Love that changes everything.
I bury the majestic sun in the ground.
In earth that was once upon a
Time ago part of a volcano. Do
The same with winter. I score a
Congregation of birds in watercolour.
I note that this path leads to
Enlightenment. That the sea mocks me.

Dear sweet child of mine with
A Jesus shine on your face.
With your big voice that drowns
Out everything in my world.
Your step like a current, ancient and sure.

I watch you carefully. Melting.
With a flash in my heart. Rapture
In my soul. You’re a phantom landscape.
You’re cinema. Manna. Honey.
Milk-fed. I kiss your cheek. The bridge of

Happiness-joy-peace rolling in
My lungs. When you sit on my lap
I stroke your tiger balm neck, arms, legs,
Back. You summon me with
Exulting stare. In sleep, I watch

Over you and melt. You laugh.
I cling to your strong personality.
I am envious of your milk-fed fangs.
Your tales. Ether. Content, cow-boy.
The gap of your watchful heaven.

Bones of your evening paradise.
Your perfect fighting city and when the gulf of
Silence greets your tired sweet
Face and you wrap yourself in toy,
Animation and sleep you make
Me forget my selfish amorphous
Failing, painted muffling, blind
Cave of grief with your solemn dance.
You make me forget that I am not
Good all the time. The peril of ego and flattery.
And a valley is formed in my soul.

 

Abigail George’s writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently at SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY and in MY AFRICA MY CITY: AN AFRIDIASPORA ANTHOLOGY (AFRIDIASPORA, NOVEMBER 2016). She has two books available as free e-downloads from Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine’s Bookstore (http://www.ovimagazine.com/cat/56). She writes from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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