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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

The wilderness prayer of driftwood

By Abigail George

The wilderness prayer of driftwood

'The flame in the snow', in the field,
In the wild 'song of songs' wilderness of
The green sea. Its energy poured itself
Into me and names whispered secrets of men
And women, banning, detention, a political
South Africa, of apartheid, freedom,
The struggle, Biko, Bantu education,
Sharpville, and the call for democracy.
There's a harvest there 'born a crime.'
'Unstoppable'. Today I wrote two poems
About Alice Munro's short stories and
Haruki Murakami. Made a prayer list. Once
You flowed into me. Into my intellect and psyche.
Once you were loved, grateful, and thankful
And then the book grew up, spread its

Wings and became the law of the land.
I thought you would bless your children
Abundantly. Give back instead of taking.
Instead you built churches (not such a bad thing)
And there are still many who wonder what
This word 'free' means. It feels more suburban
(Gated community behind high walls)
Than rural countryside. It feels as if
Something bright and clever is swimming
In the water liberally. The rub of love.
No newspaper. No Moses to rescue us.
Then I remembered. I remembered all.
No cacophony underwater. No sprinting away.
This image shifts. It is always shifting.

Article © Abigail George. All rights reserved.
Published on 2018-03-05
Image(s) are public domain.
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