Hatstand Tree

I am not from here,
But here is where I am,
And here is of what I am made.

What cast me to this place I dress,
In robes of my fondest history?
And the shadows in creases of my shirts,
And working shoes encased in dirt.
A wardrobe that fits the here and now.

On lush Devon fields where she tended sheep,
Blazing sun burned deep into my bones.
No more views of Exmoor for her to see,
These are the things that fashioned me.

The roaring winds of a Celtic coast,
Combed my hair and dried my skin.
And stout those who swam in that sea,
These are the things that fashioned me.

The red mud of Flanders an encasement cold,
Twice it tried to offer me damp sleep.
Now he rests unmarked in a cemetery,
These are the things that fashioned me.

With an apron tied around her waist,
The family hearth I blackened.
Such precious gifts of golden tea,
These are the things that fashioned me.

A Collier’s cap, a milkmaid’s hat,
And mortar boards have adorned my head.
I am the hatstand of my tree,
These are the things that fashioned me.

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