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Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon – War Tunic (Sudan 1880)

War Tunic (Sudan 1880)
(World Cultures, Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne)

All colours of the earth
are folded in your cloth

Witness me with fresh eyes
at fourteen twenty-eight
British Summertime.
Each shade binds new wounds.

All colours of the earth
are folded in your cloth

Stitched from tough cotton,
once the hue of nimbus clouds,
a garment rent by swords
has now much more to hide.

All colours of the earth
are folded in your cloth

Secret squares frame patches
to reflect my motherland,
cream for crests of Red Sea waves,
rust for soil, delft or ink for sky.

All colours of the earth
are folded in your cloth

At BST, fourteen forty-two –
do you know me better now?
With love, I guard my warrior’s skin,
when he must go to war.

All colours of the earth
are folded in your cloth

Free of nerves, sight or smell,
I shroud my soldier’s corpse.
You may see his patterned blood,
dried, staining where it fell.

All colours of the earth
are faded in your cloth

At fourteen fifty-nine
British Summertime –
one hundred and thirty-seven years
I’ve had of grieving

still

all colours of Sudan
are feuding in my cloth
and all corners of our earth
are flooding with men’s blood.

.

Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in 2017. She believes everyone’s voices counts.

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