This is a small piece that grew out of an exercise on the Glasgow MLitt.

The brief was to write a poem about something that left a trace. For me, it was my mither tongue. So, this is an exploration of what happens when you try to speak Scots when it’s not Burns Night.



She left us wi grazed tongues. An

fir a while efter, we tried tae form the ghosts

o the bilabials, the glottal stoaps an the fricatives,

that they made hir cut oot fae us.


Until she had clipped – at long last! –

oor hard, defiant Ayes

into soft and yielding Yeses.





Photograph by Arundo at