Midnight Lullaby

Hey Readers This is my first poem of 2016 and it’s written in tribute to my grandmother Jessie MacDonald Robertson Russell who died on this day 6th of January 1982 aged 90
34 years have come and gone since the frosty morning she went to sleep for the last time and her Tam the Granda I never met came to take her hame. My gran who was 70 before I was born was mu karaoke probably have you back the one they won’t complain swapping Just Dance India Dance with driver lateremigrantas foxtail but not his last you know I’ve been married when he married ch more than just a gran to me, she was also a teacher of family history and the value of Celtic by which I mean Scottish and Irish culture stressing their importance in our identity. A principled woman with strong political opinions she hated unionism with a passion something her granddaughter has and I am proud to say this inherited from her and in many ways she was my earliest political mentor. You would however be very much mistaken if you believed her independence was about flags and banners. They she said will try to be belittle us but that’s because they hold the power and gain great personal influence by doing so and they will do whatever they have to keep that power at all costs. They fear fairness and redistribution of wealth and land she once told me I know now the truth in the wisdom of her words. I think of my gran every day particularly when I see unfairness or inequality of any kind. I know she would be proud that I continue to fight for her vision of a fairer society and indeed a fairer world where everyone gets the chance to be the best we can be She would I am certain have demanded nothing less.
I have titled this poem Midnight Lullaby I hope you enjoy the read.

Midnight Lullaby

On a cold winters day
the angels came
to take you on your final journey
90 years had come and gone
since you arrived
a child of the late Victorian years
a baby whose mother never heard her tears
my great granny Robertson died
bringing you in to the world
my granda’s first child but not his last
14 sisters and brothers
would arrive later
when he married again
to a cold hearted woman
an orange cruella de vile
who treated you badly
I understood your hatred
for her loyal order
her attitudes would mould
a child of the kirk
Into a hard-line Republican
Independence and nothing less
for Scotland and for Ireland
by whatever means we must
was you said the only acceptable solution
you would hear no talk of devolution
you sneered at their walk
calling them nothing but Ill educated drunks
taught me the songs of freedom
they would never know
told me stories of Red Clydeside
and your friend MacLean
to fight till we were a nation once again
taught me not to be compliant
but to complain if things were not to my satisfaction
action speaks louder than words
you would remind me
when telling me the family history
your principles and dignity
were and remain the benchmark for my life
a loving wife you and Tam
brought five children in to the world
your youngest being my mother
I remember her hurting
on the day the angels came
to take you hame to Tam
though she had to be strong
for her big brother
Dan always was soft hearted
and couldn’t cope with the emotional stuff.
even though as a Scots guardsman
he had witnessed death at first hand
as a young man during world war 2
the thought of not seeing you
his beloved mum
caused his heart to break
we all felt the loss
but I dealt with it better than most
because of what you told me
to do
look to the stars you said
and when you see
the one that hears
the songs of the heart
you’ll know I’ll be watching you
and singing a midnight lullaby.

@ Gayle Smith 2016.

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