Not In The Secret Service
Yi canny call a Scotsman’s afro orange, rusty or burnt sienna… an it’s no thi effect ay strong sunlight gleamin oan marigold velvet, or a satsuma; it’s jist frizzy ginger hair in the wild. It could niver make a James Bond. Charming-suave widny suit an afro-comb, though, a steel version would weaponise it, find a space in a spy-wardrobe tae slip intae a lackadaisical hon. Smooth operator, but the Jaffa-look wid bend Bond right oota shape. Definitely no English, wi its flaming wilderness in the er yellin, There’s a Scotsman in this sharp suit!
Dark, under the mountain. Round the castle walls from Waverley, daffodils dance in young trees all the way to Haymarket – I only peed in Edinburgh, grabbed cash, another train. We blink through Linlithgow and I finish my dish of exotic fruit, milk my caramel cappuccino, thinking about small towns, how they sit like aunts hoping someone will notice the effort they make. Glasgow doffs Falkirk like an imaginary hat; we never remember it’s there. Home is on the horizon and the sun squints at me through girders of bridges. Trees flicker across the table. I’m in an old film and I hold the warmth on my eyes, closing them to feel the years waving me off from the platform.
Irene Cunningham has had many poems published in lit mags across the years, including London Review of Books (as Maggie York), New Welsh Review, New Writing Scotland, Stand, Iron, Writing Women,Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland and others. She lives at Loch Lomond.