Displaced, poetry by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon at Spillwords.com
Angelo Pantazis


written by: Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon



Keys redundant, no longer needed:
my old caravan, sold on,
after twelve vital years. Its pitch,
my Northumbrian retreat,
now closed to me, for good.

Keys, bubble-wrapped tight,
strain the envelope provided:
too small, too thin. I wind it
round with sellotape, wrinkled
hands shaking, knotted fingers
sticky with nervous sweat. I pause
then push, post the fragile package
down through the gaping red mouth
into letterbox darkness,
unblessed burial complete.

Weeks later, van re-sited
in Lincolnshire: four seasonal pickers,
un-welcomed by Brexit, arrive,
dump heavy rucksacks down.
They greet, stake their spaces,
make their beds. Young, strong
men and women carrying
elusive memories of homelands,
coupling to recreate
known country-sides
with tongues.

The gang labours
long hours.
Precious days squandered
for little pay. Potatoes, soft fruit,
peas, beans, beet
burden aching arms and backs.
No time to orientate,
explore outside stopgap homes.
Suspicious locals keep wide berth,
wary of unknown words
and outbreaks of laughter,
lust and camaraderie
that swell on starlit nights,
washed down by beer, wine and songs.
One, Anja, Czech with lustrous auburn hair,
sits on the steps at midnight, pleased to be alone.
Her reveries drift north from my old caravan.

Hemmed in, hot-flushed, distracted, I dream
summer barbeques,
hamburgers on wooden decking
appetites honed
by climbing steep hills,
and saddlebacks. Sun-hazed
sights of Scotland, north of the Border Ridge,
are locked beneath my eyelids: provide treasure
and torment as life shrinks
and narrows down.
My confused senses linger,
longing for my refuge.

Anja tidies after revelries,
lifts a cushion, finds a lone earring:
my silver Tree of Life. My loss
is her delight. She buffs it,
smiles, hangs it safe
on her grandmother’s
gifted neck chain.

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