Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 80: Kilsyth

Kilsyth

is somewhere mum recited, mythically
of your life, over that unseen border
I can't ask you about now, in death
perhaps you returned, your Ithaca
not realising you still live here in me

too late for you to tell me
which was your house, your street,
and which the girls you favoured. A dark town?
the smoke and nights of Glasgow
a penny on the tram away?

the truth of who you were, born,
young, then uniformed away south
is not curated in cramped bedrooms
or churches of the place you left
these will all have gone too

its lost son unremembered, ring roads
and Morrisons, perhaps, or Lidl's car park
flattening the legends,
filling in the alleys your Kilsyth
is no longer there, unmapped and crossed out
with trunk roads leading away

and yet here it is each time I close my eyes

Paul Burns

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