In My Country
walking by the waters,
down where an honest river
shakes hands with the sea,
a woman passed round me
in a slow, watchful circle,
as if I were a superstition;
or the worst dregs of her imagination,
so when she finally spoke
her words spliced into bars
of an old wheel. A segment of air.
Where do you come from?
'Here,' I said, 'Here. These parts.'
My seventy-seven-year-old father
put his reading glasses on
to help my mother do the buttons
on the back of her dress.
'What a pair the two of us are!'
my mother said, 'Me with my sore wrist,
you with your bad eyes, your soft thumbs!'
And off they went, my two parents
to march against the war in Iraq,
him with his plastic hips. Her with her arthritis,
to congregate at George Square, where the banners
waved at each other like old friends, flapping,
where they'd met for so many marches over their years,
for peace on earth, for pity's sake, for peace, for peace
[pierwszy wiersz pochodzi z tomu Other Lovers (Bloodaxe Books, 1993), drugi z książki Life Mask (Bloodaxe books, 2005), a ja skopiowałem je ze stron www.poetryarchive.org i www.poemhunter.com (skądinąd mało zachęcająca nazwa portalu z poezją...), na pierwszym z portali można też posłuchać jak poetka czyta wiersz In My Country]