Phantoms – Jill Abram


I hear voices of unborn babies most nights
and sometimes in the day; they should
have been held in my arms. And his.
Did he pass me by, neither of us realising?

Was he the commuter who offered his seat,
the waiter who winked as he gave me
too much change, or the driver of a sporty
two-seater who stopped so I could cross?

He could be at the party, brought along
by a friend of a friend, line up behind me
at a checkout, or stop me on the street
with a questionnaire. Time chased away

those children like a fairytale monster –
ogre, evil troll, big bad wolf –
through the woods and out of the life
which could have been mine. And his.


Poet, producer and presenter, Jill Abram is Director of the collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. She grew up in Manchester, travelled the world and now lives in Brixton. Her pamphlet, Forgetting My Father, will be published by Broken Sleep Books in May 2023.