The flesh and blood of family
The ominous map of my mother
is a landscape of green glass
that makes me flinch. There’s
the pleasing memory of dance in
the dreams that come to us while
we sleep. Lust on a battlefield.
I need to know this. War, you’re leaving
her. Now my mother is a pleasing memory.
Her windows lush with winter’s sun.
I touch, fall into the sleeping cat’s
circular imagined warmth. Bony fingers
clenching silk. Dear paradise of my soul.
Mouth flame. Skull, brain slack. The history
of a slack acrobat. Her hair is a waterfall.
A landscape of green still makes me flinch.
Sky like glass. Landscape of green glass.
I found the amen in church. Sought
solace there. In apple and cinnamon.
She’s my music hall. A museum holding
my historical and scientific interest. On good days,
she’s a symphony. Music to my ears.
On bad days she’s in bed all day.
While I wait on her hand and foot.


Post image by andreawilla via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - GeorgeAbigail George fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She briefly studied film and television production at Newtown Film and Television School opposite the Market Theater in Johannesburg. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vigil Pub Mag, The Writing Disorder, Hamilton Stone Review, Toad Suck Review, Birds Piled Loosely Issue 5, Literary Orphans, and elsewhere. She is the writer of Africa Where Art Thou (2011), Feeding the Beasts (2012), All About My Mother (2012), Winter in Johannesburg (2014), Brother Wolf and Sister Wren (2015), and Sleeping Under the Kitchen Tables in the Northern Areas (2016). Her poetry has been widely published from Nigeria to Finland, and New Delhi, India to Istanbul, Turkey. She lives, works, and is inspired by the people of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “The Flesh and Blood of Family | by Abigail George | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. udoh chris 2016/06/08 at 5:12 am #

    nice and lovely

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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