Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 302


Kippers catapult me back
to Victorian hotels with huge
rain slashed vistas,
brittle toast and butter knobs,
sugar lumps like granite,
paintings of mouldering birds
on thick wallpaper.

I remember every kipper
but not so much the people,
though they certainly comprised
a bald man in a sports jacket,
decrepit car rusting outside,
and his wife, whose homeland
was hidden, like her,

in sad cloud
beyond the bay windows.
What did we even do
except order kippers
and stare silently at the sea?
I suppose we were waiting always,
for the weather to clear.

Hugh McMillan

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