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Cauld slap, scales scatter like flecks o ice

Cross fingertips an palms;

A wifey’s palm crossed wi siller.

Ah telt a fortune aince tae -

Ah telt it, ye believed it,

An ah won yer hert in aa its gild n glimmer.

Ye wir a beauty in yer weddin goon

Fresh white flowrs an no a hint o the mackerel

That brocht us thegither 

At the tail end o its rainbow.


Hauns crossed an fates entwined

Like the ropes ah hauled in twice a day

Lines heavy or empty, sun or storm,

Year in, year oot.

Noo yer hauns are lined wi sea an shore

An yer hair frizzes wi salt

An I love ye all the mair fer it

Ma selkie lass, wide eyed an smilin,

No feart o any fortune telt

Just fond o the fishwifey’s tales

Layerin them up fer the bairns

An yon bairn’s bairns

Haud safe in the airms o this shore.

Poem copyright Larissa Reid

Artwork copyright Elspeth Knight

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