Ceinwen Haydon, Me/We


Midland Red buses me home
fly’s buzz freaks my brain
slaps spring apart spread fingers
chopped locks felt floorboards underfoot
mother’s blades scissor me again


Taking time from today’s fray
to touch your fingers
and allow my eyes
to linger
on your worn face
with its fine-etched cuneiform
murmuring mortality –
I wonder
with regret
why it took your diagnosis
to reset my hectic clock,
my compulsive to-do lists.
In your ebbing,
I stall,
finally mindful
of our singular moments.
Now we stand to lose it all.


Boris loves the classics,
quotes gods and goddesses,
forgets for every man of pride
there is a Nemesis. Carrie’s borne
his child (the latest one of many kids,
as rumour has it). His broad grin,
flopped hair, exudes confidence.
He misremembers: demi-gods,
by their very nature, will be
suborned. Undone,
by one close by.

Derelict Music Hall

Did you know, I danced here
beneath gas-flared lights?
Yellow, blue and green
lit up lovers’ eyes –
they sat like feral cats
briefly homed
in the dark auditorium.

Now, the hall roof leaks
rats squeal
hiss applause
scratch strings
on abandoned violins
buried under stink-soiled cushions
scattered deep in my musicians’ pit.

Today, I shuffle in tap-dance shoes
on wet pavements. Soles holed
and sodden. I zigzag and swerve
as my heart tips uneven beats
over my famished stomach
under a crazy seam of dreams.

Ceinwen Haydon lives near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and writes short stories and poetry. She is widely published in online magazines and in print anthologies. Her first chapbook was published in July 2019: Cerddi Bach [Little Poems], Hedgehog Press. Her first collection was published in 2020. She is a Pushcart Prize and Forward Prize nominee (2019) and has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK (2017). She believes everyone’s voice counts.

Read more of Ceinwen here.

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