My depression has its own voice.
He wears a crown of winter leaves.
He is my companion, my lover,
My after-thought. It is always winter
When he is near. In bed his arms
Always reach for me. He runs me a
Bath after a long day. Sometimes I
Put on make-up for him to cover up
The blue feeling that holds me down
From the top of my head to the
Soles of my feet. He tells me in no uncertain
Terms that I should wear perfume
More often. I should play tennis like I
Used to. I should go swimming. I should
Take long walks. I should fall in love.
I should have a relationship to take my
Mind away from him but I laugh at this.
He knows by now I don’t take him
Seriously at all. Doctors say he is a
Hazard to my health. I should pay
Attention to what they tell me. It’s
For my own good. But I’ve lived with
Him for years now. I’m used to his
Ways and he is used to mine. He knows
The time I get up (usually late morning).
He knows my writing routine. He
Knows how I like my coffee first thing
In the morning. My tea as the hours
Pass into evening. We draw up plans
And lists together. It’s a joy to map out
A fixed day. We laugh together.
We cry together. We share everything.
He is a glacier. Tension underneath the surface.
He is sunburn, feather, and gull in the air.
His eyes are flint. Heart made out of
The air of a clock. I know him so well.
- Abigail George 2016
Abigail George is a poet, short story writer and aspirant young adult novelist from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She has been long-listed for the Sol Plaatje European Union Award IV (Jacana Media). Her poem "The Accident" was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice (27 March 2006). Her work has appeared in the following anthologies; "To Kingdom Come" edited by Rethabile Masilo. Her work has also been anthologised in "Being Bipolar: Stories from Those Living with the Disorder and Those Who Love Them" edited by Rachel Ellen Koski (Editor), Poems for Haiti (Poets Printery), a South African Writer's Circle anthology, the Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology, and Mini Stories, an anthology of children's stories (Kwarts Publishing).