They Think They Know Me by Ceinwen Elizabeth Cariad Haydon

I am not a silent poet

They think they know me, but they don’t.
They think they see me, but they don’t.

With shred-shroud eyes
my mind turns inward.
Listen: blood? Blood surges life’s
streams scarlet. Blood, the
sole reason I survive.

Is that so? It wasn’t always.
Once, family circled me.
Full cups, sweetmeats,
hands to hold,
giggles bubble-blown with kisses,
hugs night-tight to sleep,
dreams to dance to kisses
on my cheeks and forehead.
Rainbow feelings, sky-arched:
happy, sad, lively, tired,
cross and kind.

I was known then, I was seen.

Once-upon-a-time was left
behind; war storm-trooped
to now as footsteps pounded
hell’s bombastic tune out loud.
Acrid dust fell, choked lungs,
stung eyes to blindness
and displaced my tribe.
crushed bones in cellars,
fragile shelters of indifferent strength.

A man came, tugged hard,
‘To the sea shore’, he said. The day
before, my mother
left a hole in the tarmac,

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