On visiting Sweden
(a twentieth century poem)
Dis far ahead, I towt it widna maitter.
I wis surprised.
It took a start afore I realised
wan difference dere,
when da aald man spak,
when faiders an midders, my generation,
spak o demsels as bairns.
Spak aboot lives unbrokken in wan place,
uncles at lived ta be faiders,
kennin der grand-uncles, graandfaiders,
every link in da chain:
twa generations at, gie or tak a few,
saw oot der time.
Nae war memorials, nae Poppy Days.
Nae questions at you kent you didna ax.
Naebody’s uncle crippled in a camp.
Naebody’s faider crazied ida head.
Naething at onyeen could mind or ever heard o
but ordinary life.
Years o schöl photos, forward inta time,
wi every bairn at ever sood a been
foo lang is a shadow?
a start - a little while
© Laureen Johnson 2009
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