When We Speak with Our Hands – Abigail George

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When We Speak with Our Hands

This Cinderella city life
is a terrible
scar. Winter in
Johannesburg
becomes a-glittering
Rainbowland
after the rain
sweeps the heart
of the heat and
dust away off
the wet-slick of pavements.
Black, white,
colored, Asian.
Snow enchanting.
Here in winter
I am a girl again.
Here men walk
into brick walls
with their hands
balled into fists
without caring
if they hurt
themselves or not.
Not giving a damn.
Punches flying
through the air.
Here men walk
the talk from
drugs to evangelism.
The alcoholic
in the family
sates his thirst
with beer. Sucking
the liquid through
its open top
as if they are
accomplishing
something worthwhile.

Abigail George briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television
School in Johannesburg. She is an editor, feminist poet and writer.
She is the recipient of two National Arts Council writing grants, one
from the Centre of the Book and another from ECPACC (Eastern Cape
Provincial Arts and Culture Council). Her short story “Wash Away My
Sins” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is also a member of
PEN SA. She is currently working on a young adult novel.

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