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  • Writer's pictureElira Barnes

Old Lover - by Olga Bogdan



My old lover was a poacher,

But he wasn’t an egg.

He was a man who just preferred

To steal and borrow, not beg.

One time he poached my scarf

The one I felt lost without.

I was so broken. I was so sad,

he went out and bought me a trout.

So I wore the trout around my neck

With time it got too much.

He said, ‘You stink,

of fish I think,’ then pointed at my crutch.

Another time he poached the tail

that once belonged to my favourite fox.

For days I searched and cried and grieved,

until one day I dared to check in his box.

‘My box of tricks,’ he called it with glee.

‘Full of sharp sticks, keep away.’

But my tail was lost, I didn’t care

if there was a price to pay.

I opened the box and stood by surprised

as things started to crawl out of its belly:

stiletto hill, a leg of lamb,

ginger moustache and lubricant jelly,

a rifle and a blue yoga mat,

torn map of Tel Aviv,

blues tune and Akubra hat,

a love note from a boy named Steve.

Lastly, a beautiful woman emerged, 

symmetrically split in half.

‘What did he do with the rest of me?

I’m missing an eye, a breast and a calf!’

I shrugged and helped her to an armchair,

she sipped her mint tea through a straw.

‘The man is a poacher,’ she declared.

‘He’s poached enough, don’t let him have more.’

He came home that evening smelling of rats,

gave me a kiss and took me to bed.

And just before he poached me again,

I took out the rifle and blew off his head.


Olga Bogdan

Olga Bogdan writes darkly comic YA novels. Her main characters are self-aware young people, in search of an identity, higher purpose and personal freedom. They are lost souls with a grudge against the norms and expectations imposed on them by society, willing to do anything it takes to break free of those confines. They believe in nothing, yet deep inside they harbour hope for finding a life that’s worth living. Their rage is palpable. Their honesty breathtaking. Their paths extreme. And their sense of humour just doesn’t give a crap.

Olga grew up in a small town in the former Yugoslavia, where she tried her very best to keep her nose in a book and out of trouble. This didn’t work out all that well, so she packed up her bags and took off in search of everything and nothing in particular. Currently residing in the UK, but her search is far from over.

She also reviews movies and TV shows on her website, (with a little help from Helena, a sixteen-year-old fictional character who simply refuses to leave).


Books by Olga Bogdan

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