Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
Sgrìobhadh ùr à Alba agus an Àird a Tuath

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Ex-Yu

by Rody Gorman

Mother’s only flesh and blood, her skin and blister,
We were never that close but I was back again
With herself and the rest at month’s mind
Just the same. What I mind most, after all that time
Of pain and all the lying in state, is a body
Being placed not in freshly-consecrated earth
But like a bird released up into the ether
Or Dame Hird off to bed on her golden stairlift.

I was reminded of the Gaelic teàrnadh then,
How it means ascending, descending, afterbirth,
Saving and what have you and all the family
As we stood by the misty fields beyond
The runway and terminal fence where we’d gone
On hearing the voice for the last time
Calling out from above: Head to the Gate.
Final Call. Gangway Closed. And that was that.

All the different flights and connections and people
You think you know. Check in/out. The vast concourse.
The control tower up there. Security. Another
Plane coming in to land. Another departing out
Of sight. A vapour-trail. All passing with such power
And force over us to as far away as darkest Africa
And herself going Aer Lingus to Split
And the coast of what used to be Yugoslavia.

The Board and Editor of Northwords Now acknowledge support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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