Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 35: Whithorn


George Dickie didn't hack it as a butcher,
swapped the blood and offal
for a uniform and when its shade didn't suit him
disappeared among the disgraced:
the distaste back home was palpable.
Then George Dickie became Jack Brent,
and took a bullet in the spine
for the poor at Jarama,
limped back, battling still for the flag
bright as carnations,
as the blood of Spain.
On the sodden streets of Whithorn now
there's a splash of colour and a communist star,
'Un heroe de la guerra civil de espanola'.
How disgusting some said,
so close to a shrine of Christ
who gave his life and was reborn to save us all.

Hugh McMillan

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