Maggie Mackay

 A Pole in Scotland

 

My people and your people are friends.
For centuries Danzig and Aberdeen traded
grain and timber. My forefather sold
scissors and sewing pins on your country roads.
My father ran to you from a labour camp,
from the communists to watchmaking.

My people and your people are friends.
Your people supplied the Polish court,
made Poland Scotland’s America.
Polish trade founded Robert Gordon University,
and Warsaw had a Scottish mayor.

My people and your people are friends.
I met you on the street where we lived
four doors down, at the age of two.
Your Mum was like a mother to me;
summer in the garden den, winter at the pictures.

My people and your people are friends.
We fought together in the heavens over Europe;
every Polish airman danced like Fred Astaire.
Then we fell in love, Slavic blonde, Celtic redhead,
We work togither, learn togither, share gulasz and cranachan.

My people and your people are friends.
My people were the first to come in war, and peace
I’m proud of Poland’s place in Europe,
our long quiet welcome to Scotland.
I just don’t know what is going to happen to us.

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