Journey’s End

Hey everyone I have as requested by the great British establishment decided to move on from the independence referendum result and to write
my first post independence poem on why I believe Scotland’s day will come. It starts with memories of family parties in my early teenage years of the mid 1970’s which show that this was a live issue even then. This period was I believe the beginning of our journey to national restoration. In this poem I explore the issues of sectarianism, poverty, and inequality, and how bigotry made ragged trousered philanthropists of people who were nowhere near as different as they thought from those they perceived as the enemy. Now more optimistic than ever that our independence will be won I have titled this poem Journey’s End as when we the end of this journey we can begin to embark on a new one to a better more equal society.

Journey’s End

As the Bells ring in another year
In a quiet moment I sit reflecting
not only on the year just gone
but those long passed
images frozen in time revisit me
as memories
family parties always ended with differences of opinion
Scotland or United Kingdom
divided gatherings like a fault line
I had my views and a bolshie little teen
I wasn’t prepared to keep them to myself
I wanted redistribution of wealth
but unionists in my family
preferred to keep the old established order
they probably still do
three cheers for the red white and blue
as long as they had the walk
they cared not about democracy
far less poverty and inequality
this is a protestant country I was told
I was no sheep for the Labour fold
far less for tory colours
but last year Scotland discovered what I had known since the mid 1970’s
the servant children would sooner work together than work for us
some nurse their bigotry to keep themselves content
who cares if they can’t pay the rent or put a meal on the table
about foodbanks or benefit cuts to disabled people
as those with eyes blinded by fear
shout out independence we don’t want that here
the country would be run by feinians
though when I tell them that many feinians were protestant
and more educated than them
you can see the fragility of their beliefs
they are angry at me for daring to speak the truth
they cannot answer except with abuse
but in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt
nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent
and I refuse to grant them
the consent they need to mock
I reminded them as I remind their successors this day
you will face your day of reckoning
history is on our side now
like the family parties of yesterday your time has passed
and soon you will be no more
as the final bell takes you
to the graveyard and you reach your journey’s end.

@ Gayle Smith 2015


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