E. 94. Sudanese Slit Drum

Kitchener fingered it then instructed
his queen’s crown to be engraved/ By
his weak hand he couldn’t beat out a
sound/ Khartoum was taken [a canal
war]/ A slit drum – lootings [his spoil
& stolen – again – a theft once before]
It had been re-marked – reset by Arab
tools on its African coralwood flanks –
it’ll hold off termites – that’s all/ Hit it
hard – strike at plane of timber tunes
but it stands mute in a quiet museum