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Whit Ma Dey Said*

*dey – grandfather / father


Aye ye tak yon job an mak it yer ain;

Ain sma pairt o a muckle machine 

Ye may be still, aye, ah’ll gie ye that -

But ye’ll staun prood an strang, 

Fill yer days wi the best o men, 

Gang thegither deep intae black rock. 

Wi fire n hammer ye build trust, 

Wi sheer will ye stack the odds in yer favour; 

In aa oor favours, cam tae that. 

An wha disnae end wi the fire inside ye, 

Deep in yon darkest o cells? 

Wha disnae end wi the pain o each breath, 

Or the aches across the rickles o yer banes? 

Ye sook it richt up, aye, ye hear?

Thegither, alane, ayeweys.

Better than yon worker ants 

Wha stack them cities agin us,

An prise oor young fowk aff lik treasure; 

Fool’s gold fae the coal face. 

Naw, ye stan prood ere, face yer demons,

Brak the mould o yer peers, 

An bide wi yer dey;

Wheel like yon gulls follae yon fermer

Fae morn intil nicht; 

Lichts oan yon derk earth. 

Poem copyright Larissa Reid

Artwork copyright Elspeth Knight

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