Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 98: Garlieston

Goodbye to Garlieston

A whole day on the beach,
just us three.
We scour the strandline for flotsam
stirring up a sea-rot smell,
magic a dragon from driftwood,
pound brown stones to powder
and mix with brine,
bright red paint for shop signs—
what alchemy,
find sea glass, frozen drops of colour,
jewels for a scallop casket to buy with
periwinkle pennies.

While we play the sun is bouncing
golden spangles off the waves
and the natty sea pie pipes a tune
over a flotilla of swans waiting
to take off for Iceland.

Sweet girl voices calling out
‘Granny come and see!’
echo in my head
now that we have said goodbye
to Garlieston.


Leonie Ewing
from Bairns & Beasts, by Leonie Ewing and Barbara Mearns

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