Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 60: Dundee


Lang afore McGonagall’s words wir embeddit,
screived in stane alang the esplanade,
bairns came wi pipper peece-pokes,
hystit ower the lang dyke an clammert
doon ahentit, inti the glaur unner the brig.
They raikit through bladderwrack, scrabblin fir crabs,
no kennin whit ti dae when they fund ain
cept check it oot syne pit it back whar it came fae,
affy gled mithers kent nuthin
aboot thir shenanigans.

Wagons thundert abin haids, rumlt
ower humungus stumps, aince Tam’s pride;
the Fifie glydit, daunert Fifeward,
gulls aa screchin roonaboot, moochin fir peeces.

Us glaikit bairns kent nuthin aboot the ithers
thit tumlt inti the Tay thon farawa, squahlin nicht;
a manglt brig an





 voices drappin doon, droonin in the Tay;
sad, slack watter lappin agin the dyke
unner a skelf o muin,
an the brig cleavit in twa
like Tam Bouch’s sair hert.

Fran Baillie

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