Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 113: Paisley

The Work of the Weavers

Coates’ Paisley negotiates her looms
looms clattering in the cottage gloom

or shift-shuttling fine threads of weave
or muffling thuds, squeaks, tiny gasps

– the click-clack of Tannahill’s thoughts
drifting in the darkened Sma’ Shot

while Calton men dress deadly warp
shot by soldiers, weaved into corpse.

Remember Death, the first pay strike
Page, Miller, Ainsley addressing local plights

winding their fate from back beam to front
or treadling their fight with a risky slump

running the streets, cutting webs, burning cloth.
The Regiment of Foot released gunfire wrath

one pair of shoes and stockings their reward
mural tributes to martyrs as their just award.

Maggie Mackay

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