Parallel Universe

Hey Readers  This poem is a look at the Scotland of the 1970’s, in the context of our relationship with Europe. This was the Scotland which to a significant extent shaped the woman I would become. What worries me is that this is the Scotland I fear we’ll return to if we vote to leave the European Union I’ve titled the poem Parallel Universe I hope you enjoy the read.

Parallel Universe  

In the 1970’s Scotland wore navy and gray
it was a land of blue collars, smart skirts, and puritanical ways
we had to show respect
for those so-called betters
dressed in tweed and Arran sweaters
flirting with new ideas was actively discouraged
in a nation which lacked the will to break with tradition
we were a country too small minded to believe
we could break free from Britain
it’s amazing what centuries of servitude can do to national ambition
skirting the edges of gender identity
was strictly forbidden
with boys and girls  roles strictly taught
to obedient children
many were conditioned to be proud of the united kingdom
though the monarchy for which some would march in July
would make paupers of them of all
whilst wearing the robes of privilege
to be British was not to like those
who were not us
no surrender written on walls
which had long since surrendered to poverty
but better to be poor than a Catholic according to family friends
who conveniently forgot my dad was a Catholic from Irish descent
in the parallel universe
the unionists demanded
we  must be content to live in
the patriots among us knew
the united kingdom was never a united Britain
a cursory glance at the political map told the story
Scotland the deepest shade of Labour red
England for the most part true blue Tory
despite this we were or so the story goes
all the same
foreigners were to blame
for all our problems
I couldn’t see the logic
we never really had any in Scotland
well not to me
to my way of thinking
no matter where we came from
we were all equals
I was raised to believe
there was no such thing as others
to me we were all just people

@ Gayle Smith 2016


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