NO DEID YIT

Ma wabbit heid is on the pilla,

Ma auld banes are sair.

The whisky’s gey near kilt me.

Ah’ll no be touchin it nae mair.

Ah fell an landed on ma doup.

Lay thaur in the daurk.

Pickled wi the drink.

An noo ah cannae walk.

Ah s’pose ah’m jist gey lanely.

Gettin by the only wey ah cin.

Fur thir’s no a sowel taks tent o me,

Syne ah got auld an din.

Ah wis young an braw yinst,

Winched the lassies jist lik Burns.

When ah walked intae a room,

Ma shooders wide,

Ilka lassies heid wid turn.

Ah’d a glint in ma ee.

Some siller in ma pooch.

An ah’d ah kept it,

If it wisnae fur the hooch.

In they days, folk saw me,

Six fit, wi a heid o tousie hair.

An noo ah’ve come tae hinkin,

Ah dinnae maiter onie mair.

Ah’m auld, ah don’t exist.

Syne oor Jean deid,

Ma hairts awa, ah’ve jist

this tichtness in ma kist.

Ah’m broken, black an blue,

Ah’m lonely an ah’m feart.

Ah’ve ne’er asked fir nuhin,

An noo a hink ah’ve aiblins…

… disappeared.

Ma hoose wisnae aye a boorach,

Oor Jean kept it braw.

She’d gie me sic a flytin if she kent

Ah’d drank it aa awa.

Ah wis her guid man.

An a strappin yin at that.

She widnae ken me noo,

Ah’m nine stane soakin watt!

The weans huv aa grown up noo,

Spread thaur wings an flew awa.

They’ve aa din awfy weel,

Ah don’t want thaim tae fash at aa.

Yon big nurse is sic a cailleach,

She’s ayeweys threapin oan,

Settin up the Whats app,

On her mobile phone.

Ah tell thaim ah’m aa richt.

She tells thaim that ah’m no.

Says she “Yir needin carers,”

Says ah “Ocht ! Poch ma hon!”

Ye see, ah’m invisible,

Ah’ve din this tae masel.

Fur syne a lost oor Jean,

It’s bin a livin hell.

Ah ken if she cid see me noo,

She’d skelp me roon the lug.

Ah wish we wir thegither,

Jist me, an her, an oor wee dug.

It yist tae be ah couldnae

Get a meenits peace,

It wis aye “daddy this” an “faither that”,

But it’s famine noo, no feast.

Ah’m invisible,

Faded awa.

Gaun.

Ah cannae bring masel tae say,

“Ah need a haun.”

Ah micht be crabbit an twistit,

But ah’ll ne’er be a pest.

But, ye ken, ah’m jist feart,

Ye’ll gang awa lik aa the rest.

When yon big nurse, the cailleach,

Gied ma face a caunnie dicht,

Ah lowped as if she’d burnt me,

Ah gied her sic a fricht.

Ah’m jist a pair auld sowel,

Ah’ve no bin touched fir years,

Ah turned ma heid tae face the waa,

So she widnae see ma tears.

It minded me o that hellish day,

When lyin, broken on the flair,

Oor Jean wis aside me,

Ah felt her stroke ma hair.

She said “wheesht na, wheesht”,

Her saft lips on ma broo,

Ah heard her vyce.

Ah felt her touch.

She steyed the hale nicht throu.

Yon big nurse, the cailleach,

Hus a wey o sayin it as it is,

Says she tae me “C’mon John,

Yir no deid yet!”

Says she “Whit yir in need o,

Is tae be warm an safe at haim.

An that’s no gauntae happen,

If ye dinnae get up an yais

yon zimmer frame.”

An she sits me doon a cup o tea,

An gies a sleekit wink,

An says she “An see whin ye get haim,

nae hirplin tae the shop fur drink”.

So ah gits up oot o ma bed,

An noo, wi yon zimmer, ah’m the bomb,

Ah’m fleein up the ward,

Jist lik Captain Tom.

Ah’m gaun haim next week,

Tae stey in ma ain bit.

Ah micht still be invisible,

But hey, yon big nurse wis richt,

“AH’M NO DEID YIT!”

COPYRICHT TRACY ANNE HARVEY

The Edge of the World.

Oh to be here.

Where the cold cuts you in two.

Where the sun shines gold through a hole in the clouds.

Where the blackness is loud.

Oh to look up at the plough.

Oh to be below the bellies of the geese as they fly towards the sun.

Oh to see the rainbow plunge into the silver sea.

To hear the crash and see the curl of the waves

As they suck the sand back into their mouths.

Oh to beware the deadly black lochs

And the gangs of stags.

Oh to avoid falling into a peat bog.

Oh to see the hills smudged by fleeting sun, blended in mist.

To walk through forests of autumn seaweed

And see the sky reflected in the sand.

Oh to hear the wind howling like a lost soul

And be stunned by the silence of the street.

Oh to see the moon turn everything silver.

Oh to be here.

On the very edge of the world.

WICKERMAN

0_Wiucker-Man

WICKERMAN

The first time ah seen him hud been at the festival. Ah festival honouring pagan worship an the ancient ritual o burning the Wickerman as a sacrifice tae appease the Gods. It wis midsummer, an the July sun wis splitting the sky. Gods aside, it wis just a braw time tae spend wi yir pals, sittin on the grass, listening tae guid music as cauld strawberry cider slipped doon yir throat. Oniewey, when ah first saw him there he looked magnificent, wi his noble face an kist, his antlers twisting intae lethal spikes. His muckle feet gruppin the grunn. His fine wicker phallus, handsomely displayed between his muscular wicker thighs.  Whit a shame he hud tae be sacrificed ah thocht.

The weekend wis a hoot. Hot sun an music, the smell o sweet grass. Dancin. Free hugs. Yet, the whole time, he wis in ma thochts.

When it came tae the Saturday nicht, spirits wir heized. We wir aa dressed up, in big wigs an skinkle, but yet, ah felt a sense o sadness an longin as we made oor wey up the hill tae watch the wicker effigy bein sacrificed. Ah closed ma een ticht as Amy MacDonald held a lichted taper tae his left leg. The crowd grew qwait as the flames, shilpit at first, caught an grew in size, until they became huge, engulfing the Wickerman. Flames lit up his belly an limbs, escaped from his een, until, helpless, he imploded in a sparking pile o twigs. Fireworks lit up the sky tae celebrate his burning. The air reeked o acrid smoke. Ah felt great sadness at witnessing this great, prood man, being brocht tae his knees in front o aa these folk. He deserved better.

The next morning, waking early wi the anxiety that comes wi too much drink, ah unzipped the tent an stepped ootside. Caunny, ah stepped ower guy ropes as if ah wis picking ma wey through a field o  landmines. Ah dodged deflated gazebo’s, blaw up chairs, piles o rubbish an empty cans. Folk wir emerging fae their tents lik shocked survivors o some terrible disaster. Ah wisnae caring, ah had wan hing in mind, tae sclimb the hill an see whit wis left o the Wickerman.

When ah came tae the tap o the brae, ah sunk tae ma knees. Aa that wis left o him wis a huge circle o charred grass an stoor. Ah stared at it, tears blinnin me. How could a man sae braw an prood come tae this? Ah ca’ad Amy MacDonald for everyhin.

Then sumhin caught ma ee. Shining bright in the epicentre o the black stoor. Ah picked it up. Drapped it ( fir it wis roastin). Ah swore. Happed ma t-shirt roon ma haund an tried again. Ah got it, an, sitting ootside the ring o soot, ah hud a guid swatch at it. It wis chestnut coloured, aboot the size o ma clenched fist.  Ah rubbed it wi ma t-shirt, expecting it tae be hard as rock. Tae ma surprise it wis saft. As ah stared, dumfounert, ah saw it beat. Wan. Two. Three times. As if that wisnae enough, sumhin else caught ma ee, shining in the stoor. Again, ah happed the t-shirt roon ma haund, an picked it up. Again, ah hud a guid swatch. It wis chestnut coloured, long and slender, beautifully shaped, a bit charred.  Again, ah rubbed it wi ma t-shirt. Again it wis flesh like. Attached tae it were whit looked like twa chessies.  Dumfounert, an mair than a wee bit shocked, a realised whit it wis an drapped it. Hairt racing, checking naebodie wis watching, ah picked it up again, stared again. Aye, it wis definitely whit ah thocht it wis, Ah traced ma fingers along the length o it, rubbing the soot aff the smooth chestnut shaft, feeling the wicker veins below. Ah held the saft chestnut coloured balls in the palm o ma haund. Ah looked again at the first object, still beating. Ah realised I hud in my haunds, whit wis left o the Wickerman. His heart, phallus and balls. Guiltily, Ah slipped them inside ma toilet bag.

Aa the wey haim, in the back o the caur, aside ma wee hungover, snoring pal, ah thocht aboot whit wis in ma toilet bag. Whit did this mean?

Oniewey, that wis a wee while ago noo. Ah put the full experience doon tae too much draft cider an the heebie jeebies.

Ah never opened the toilet bag til the day. Needin a pair o tweezers, ah put ma haund in the bag an it aa came flooding back. The fireworks, the reek o charred wood, the chants o the crowd. Ah decided ah wis gauntae bring him back tae life. Ah googled it, found oot aa a needed wis energy – licht, heat an voltage. Ma wee kitchenette wid be ma laboratory. It widnae matter that ah hud been rubbish at science at the schuil. At the time Bunsen burners an experiments that reeked o sulphur wir o nae interest tae me. Just like Victor Frankenstein, ah wid create a humanoid. A golem. (Not a monster though). Ah googled how tae make an electric circuit and got cracking wi wire, batteries an a switch. Ah made umpteen o them an wired them up tae the the body parts……

……. Of coorse it didnae work.

Ah went tae bed, tired, crabbit an nearly greetin.

During the nicht, ah woke tae a strange sensation that somebody wis in ma room. A caught ma breath, heart racing. Ah froze. Somebody wis getting intae the bed, ah felt the weight, the mattress squeaked. Ah could smell charred wood. A big strong wicker arm slid roon ma waist. Ah felt the jaggy wicker o his chest against ma back. His breath on ma neck. The front o his legs against the back o mine. We spooned. Ah felt sumhin else tae. Ah turned an courit in, ma face in his wicker neck. Next hing a kent, his wicker body wis loomin ower me. Strong an warm an smellin o sweet wood. The holes where his een should huv been shone wi a warm blackness. Ah put my haunds on his shooders, ran ma palms doon his arms, feeling the naked interwoven branches beneath. When his lips met mine, they felt warm an human. He happed his wicker arms roon me an held me ticht.

 Ah could feel his heart beating in his chest. Ah didnae ken how, but it had worked, he wis here. The rest, as they say, is history…

When a woke in the morning, he wisnae there. Only a few twigs and splinters on the other side of the bed tae prove he had been there at aa. Ah went tae the bathroom, caught sicht o masel in the mirror, ah rid rash covered ma throat an chest, mair proof that ah wisnae gaun aff ma heid.

Ah showered and went tae work, confused.

Ah wunnert if he would phone. Ah wunnert if he could talk at aa. He didnae phone.

The next nicht it happened again, and the next, and the next. Each morning ah woke rid and scratched. He wis at it, and ah wisnae happy. Yet every nicht, ah couldnae help masel, gruppin oan tae his wicker buttocks.

Towards the end o the second week, ah said we hud tae talk ( well, ah hud tae talk, he just hud tae listen). He teased me, placing his forefinger on my lips, indicating ah should wheesht. Much as ah didnae want tae, ah stopped his advances. “Naw” ah said, “listen”, he cocked his heid tae wan side, as if tae say “whit’s up?”. Ah telt him, much as ah wis happy tae be his lover, there were also ither desired behaviours, like bein aroon in the morning, no slipping intae the nicht like a shaddae. He just cocked his heid tae the ither side, “and” ah added, “ye’ll need tae get the strimmer oot the hut, luik at the state o ma neck”. Ah hoped ma words wid dae the trick.

When ah woke the next morning, ah could smell coffee and frying bacon. Ah could hear him banging aboot in the kitchenette. Gien he wis gey big, ah didnae ken whit kind o magic let him shrink himsel wee enough. A cantie wee tune wis beltin oot fae the radio. He brocht me ben a mug o coffee, and wan fir himsel.

He stertit tae talk tae me, no physically, his lips never moved, but ah could hear his voice nonetheless, a big deep voice, fitting for a 30 foot effigy.

He telt me how it had felt tae be such an iconic figure at the festival. He said that at first he had loved the look of awe on festival goers faces when they hud seen him. He said that he would sometimes move a wee bit, wink or dae a wee dance, dae a twa thumbs up, that it would dumfouner folk, who mair than likely put the experience doon tae the bevvy. He said he had loved tae watch the antics o folk, the babbies wi their big protective ear phones on, weemin getting henna tattoos on their backsides. Folk lying star fished on the grunn. Weans on the shows. Folk dancing on picnic tables, hula hooping, screaming on the pendulum ride, sneaking carry oots up thir jooks intae the arena. He said he hud enjoyed the live bands, the throbbing lichts, the jumping crowd. He said he aye wantit tae join in, mibbe huv a pint in the Jimmy Carr Bar, but, every year, his big feet were rooted tae the spot. He said he wis seek tae the back teeth o getting sacrificed every year. Ah kent better than tae mention Amy MacDonald tae him.

He said he couldnae trust folk, that he had had his fingers burned too monie times before.

He said he wis, literally, burnt oot.

He said he wis thinking aboot a career change, but that there wisnae much work for a gigantic wicker effigy.

Oniewey, he wis aff tae next year noo, and wid enjoy his time aff.

Eftir that ah couldnae fault him, he became mair domesticated every day. He made me breakfast in bed, ran roon wi the Hoover, hung oot the washing. Whilst still being the best wicker lover ah ever had.

Then, of coorse, we stertit tae learn each ithers faults. He liked a bevvy. Smoked like a lum, (high risk for a man made o wicker). He left his socks and boxers on the flair. He flicked ash on the flair, rubbing it in wi his wicker foot. He put the timt milk carton back in the fridge. Sometimes he drank too much tae be onie guid tae me, gaun on for ever and getting naewhere. He stertit no showing up when he said he would. Final straw, he stertit flirting wi ither weemin richt in front o me.  Ah remember him looking intently intae the een o wan wummin as she blushed and birlt a strand o hair roon her finger. The penny drapped a few weeks later when ah saw the state o her neck, red wi scratches.

Ah ca’ad him fir everything. “Yir nuhin but a big, cheatin, cadging, wicker feckin BASKET!!” He ducked as ah flung his claes, his fags, his shoes, at him. “We’re feenished!” And so he defo got the message, ah put on an Amy McDonald song “This is the Life” the words “oh where ye gauna sleep tonight?” beltit oot.

And that wis that. He left, wi his tail between his Wicker legs, moved in wi his latest floozie. Ah hoped she wis pickin skelfs oot her arse fae noo tae kingdom come.

Ah tried tae forget him. Ah flung oot ma wicker chest of drawers. Couldnae go a walk in the woods if ma life depended on it. If Jimmy Carr wis on the telly, ah switched it ower. Ah didnae chargrill oniethin. Ah shut the curtains in the bedroom so’s a couldnae see the shaddae o the bare banches ootside dancing on ma magnolia waa. Ah taen ma toilet bag oot ma knicker drawer, ready tae fling it oot. Then ah remembered that the only reason he was here was because ah conjured him up in the first place.

Ah put on the Human League’s “Don’t you want me baby?” on Spotify an got tae work. Ah didnae huv his heart or his boabby oniemair, but there wis bits o twig everywhere, doon the side o the couch fae where he had sat fir hours watchin Midsummer Murders, doon the plughole in the shower, and, of coorse, in the bed.

Ah googled “How did Victor Frankenstein get rid o the monster?” only tae find oot that he died trying. It seemed that yinst ye hud created a hybrid, ye were responsible for it. Bollocks.

Ah sang along tae the Human League “It was me who put you where you are nooow….and I can put you back out tooooooo. ……na na na na naaaaaaaaaaaa”. It wisnae rocket science, he wis made o wood, he wid burn.

He seemed tae be getting on fine. The photies were aa ower Facebook. A change tae his relationship status. Him an her oot for their dinner. A wee selfie o them doon the beach. Cutesie GIFs aboot new beginnings. Wi a wee bit help fae Google, ma plan begun tae form.

Ah made a clay effigy, a stumpy wee figure, an stuck the bits o twig intae it. That an a wee bit o oose fae his socks, just fir luck. A modelled twa horns on the heid o the effigy, just for the sake o onie dubiety. Ah got a box o cook’s matches fae the kitchenette. A struck wan, held it tae the wee doll’s haun. When it stertit tae smoke, ah blew it oot.

A few days later, Ah drove tae her hoose (silly cow had taen a selfie o them baith ootside her front door, baith o them aa dressed up like flea heuks fir somebodies waddin). Ah parked across the road, ablo a tree, where they widnae notice me. Eftir a wee while they pulled up in the car and got oot. They were baith laughing, lost in each ither, his jacket slung ower his shooder, like some sort o club book model. “Ah bet she disnae even like festivals”, ah thocht tae masel, looking at her ticht skirt and heels. The haund that wisnae haudin his jacket wis bandaged. Ah smiled tae masel. 

That nicht ah opened a rosehip, we ca’ad them “itchy pooders” as weans, ah rubbed it aa ower the wee clay doll. Sure enough, when ah drove up tae her hoose the next day, this time ah hud tae keek in the windae, his coupon wis covered in calamine lotion.

Ah kept experimenting wi the doll, sticking pins in it, dookin it in boiling watter, chucking it at the waa in pure rage.

Then the rage stertit tae leave me, and ah just felt like a burst baa. Ah sat on ma couch, the clay doll beside me. Ma pals came roon, telt me there were plenty mair wooden effigy’s in the sea. Telt me if they saw his big coupon roon here again, they wid yais him for kinnlin.

Ah stertit gaun oot again, haen a laugh, an enjoying masel.

It came time for the festival again. Every body wis there. No me, ah booked a caravan in Girvan for the weekend. Ah walked on the beach, went tae the amusements, ate fish an chips an ice-cream.

When it came midnicht on the Saturday nicht, the time ma Wickerman would be being set alicht, ah struck a match an lit up the wee clay effigy, as ah watched it burn, ah remembered him fondly, the bumps on his wicker spine, the feeling o being engulfed in his big jaggy hugs, the wey he would try tae dance tae music, but was too big and stiff tae huv onie rhythm, the wey the birds would sit on his shooders and heid whilst we were oot a walk. The wey he creaked when he moved. The wey he smelt; a mixture o wood, sap and earth, sort o sawdusty. Ah hoped the God’s were appeased tae huv him  back.   

AUNTIE RONA

Auntie Rona (Robina her Sunday name),

Was always game

For anything.

Married at 18, her granny lived

In the bedroom upstairs.

In the name of both duty and love.

Knock, knock, knock went the stick

On the floor above.

Auntie Rona never complained.

She got up for work at 4am

To keep the boys on their toes,

To make sure the papers were on the doormats

Before the sun rose.

She cooked fry ups in the back shop on the old range.

Uncle Wullie counted the change.

The soap on the Belfast sink was bevelled

with seams of coal.

I did what i was told.

Sometimes I was allowed

To look at the scraps;

Plump cherubs on clouds.

Or flick through the comics;

The Bunty, The Mandy,

The Beano, The Dandy,

A smile on my face.

In the corner sat granny’s chair,

Always given her place.

THE CUT O YE

(A  SINCERE SCOTTISH WELCOME)

The cut o ye.

Honestly.

Like yir bunnet.

Quality.

Where ye fae?

Romania ?

D’ye like it here ?

A sqwad o yis man?

Guid.

D’ye support Rangers?

Nah it’s cool.

Ah ken be that leuk.

Ken that disnae mean nuhin tae ye.

Fkn luv that bunnet by the way.

Ah swerr tae ye man.

Ken whit ah mean?

The cut o ye.

Yir aa right big yin.

Quality.

A Change is as good as it gets.

I wobbled back and forth as the train sped South, pressing the wrong letters on my phone key pad with awkward sausage fingers. Hedges, and sheep  and fields whizzed past.

I wanted to go and I didn’t want to go. Others said I was brave. Especially at my age, apparently. I am brave, I suppose, in a way.

I was learning the language on an app. I was surprised at myself, the way I felt validated by the approval of the nodding, thumbs up animations. How I frowned when they shook their colourful little cartoon  heads.

I just didn’t think it through. Thinking it through, would have  meant a victory for the “what ifs?”, and once they won a battle, they didn’t stop til they  had invaded and conquered the entire brain, with a little help from their allies in the “not good enough” department.

So here I am, sausage fingers and all, wobbling my way down South in standard class.

“A  change is as good as a rest” they say, and a change is as good as it gets, is what I say. I’ve changed job many a time. I’ve been a cleaner in a pub, I remember staring down into a trough of pish, glob and cigarette doughts and wondering where to start. But start I did, not stopping til I got pulled up by the boss for using too much bleach. A quick hoover round the lounge and an hour peeling tatties in the kitchen, then I was  promoted to waiting tables in the afternoon.

Anyway, after that, i moved on to other jobs, working in a pub at night, pouring pints of lager, light and heavy whilst the Guinness ran, in time to “ A Boy Named Sue”. Next came stacking bottles on and off a line in a whisky plant, the sound of glass on glass rattling round in my head for hours after a back shift. A cash in hand job washing down a restaurant for a developer before he covered a multitude of sins in metal splash boards. Talking over his shoulder to me, whilst he took a pish in the open plan toilet.

I applied for a job in a local woman’s  house once too.  Just up the road from us, an  elaborate castle-esque 90’s build, complete with turrets and crunchy gravel. So different from the council house we lived in, but yet, at the same time, not. I didn’t get that one. Probably for the best.

A newsagents came next, the most boring job I ever had, made bearable by the ready supply of chocolate and a read at “Take a Break”.

A nursing ticket later, I went  through a portal into another world. I waded my way through  people from in utero to recently deceased. There are not enough adjectives to describe the experience. Babies delivered in peaceful side rooms to alternatively shiny bright clinical theatres, me sliding down the wall as the surgeon  cut through layers of skin and yellow fat to haul out a mewing new life.

Walking through a leafy Avenue, under a blue sky with a bunch of unique young people, only to turn and find that one wayward teenager had stripped herself to the waist and ran into the picnic area, giggling and laughing and wobbling all over the place.

Being shouted at and threatened by a young man,  and not minding as he had had everything and lost it all. And I dont mean anything as superficial as a house or money, I mean skin and bone and muscle and the power to move them.

Walking beside an ambulance all the way up the road as the patient, mistaking me for God knows who, wouldn’t let me in the ambulance.

Washing, and dressing, and shaving, and toileting and feeding and chasing and injecting and brushing and wiping and talking and taking blood and listening and documenting it all for years.

And in between taking my own turn as the patient, delivering, going under, getting injected, cut, stitched, wiped, helped, listened too, joked with, listened too, not listened too, taken seriously, not taken seriously.

And being the relative, crying, worrying, hoping, grieving, holding on to every word.

So, yes, I’m brave,  just as everyone else is too. Just doing what I have to do. And I have to do this.  The train is slowing, wheezing, taking it’s last breaths, and I’m reaching for my bags, moving on to the next thing. Never mind the “What if’s”, a change is as good as a rest and a change is as good as it gets.

BUBBLES ON THE BEACH

Sunny Saturday and the low green,

Is dotted with daisies and dandelions.

Bubbles of mammies, daddies, weans and dugs,

Sprauchled on deckchairs, plaids and rugs.

Babbies crawlin on chubby knees,

The smell o burgers burning on barbecues, blawin on the breeze.

Tea’s poured fae flasks and cider is sipped,

Wi windbreaks and gazebos, folk are equipped.

Iphones beltin oot sonsie tunes,

Lassies growin intae legs which have grown long ower lockdoon.

Neebors blether tae wan an ither just like in closes,

Sweet grass and gowans like tiles and peony roses.


Doon by the café, folk wait their turn.

Auld mods on mopeds oot for a run.

Bikers on big Harley’s lean back in the sun.

On the shore, skin of all kinds shimmers in the heat,

Colours across the spectrum, bare sandy feet.

Weans plooter aboot in the warm pools left by the tide,

Skiddlin wi spades and pails, wunnerin whaur the crabs bide.

No everybody is happy mind..

….

A skinny, thrawn faced dad,

Himsel nae mair than a lad,

Leans ower his girnin wean,

Peely wally skin moving ower his ribs.

A wifie shouts at her man fir no listening,

He tells her tae stop threapin on.

Seagulls pinch chips.

Somebody curses, and ….

……. a wean draps her cone.

Thir’s sand and snotters on sticky wee faces.

Sandals, and sannies and sari’s,

Sun cream and sunburn and sunstroke

And hash smoke and sirens and swearing and stooshies,

And shells and seaweed and….

….. some cunt wi a drone.

….

But we’re aliiiiiiiiiiiive !

….

So here’s tae us –

Tae the bossy matriarchs baukit in deckchairs,

Knees apart, arms under bosoms,

Watchin ower their brood.

..

Tae the weemin who bring umpteen weans and fishing nets,

And picnics o pieces, and buggies and grannies, on the train,

And sit on the beach til it’s time tae go haim.

..

Tae the mammies and daddies pushin weans in wheelchairs,

On the shore front,

The sand as well a million miles away.

..

Tae the petrol heids in souped up motors,

Driving nose tae tail,

Belchin reek.

..

Tae the big Asian families who gather in the gloamin,

Tae watch the sun go doon ower Goatfell.

..

Tae the weans blawin bubbles fae wands,

A rainbow of colour in ilka sphere,

Perfect for a moment.

Here’s tae us.

Copyright Tracy Anne Harvey.