(1 September 1950 - 23 January 1998 / Melbourne, Australia)

Scottische

<i>just a souvenir
of a terrible year </i>
The Sundays

where are the bluebells
& the blank deck of cards

the children’s toys
left out in the rain?

go, & sort through your words
for an explanation

why the face in the mirror
mimics pain.

grief is a house
with an open fire,

warm bed, swept floor
& up to date magazines—

you’re terrific, you’re great
you run in the mornings

& hurt
like the cold is proof
you can feel

but can you imagine
‘Flora Macdonald Goes Surfing’?
no, me neither

& just this phrase
brings my pain to an end

(& not
by mocking you either,

not when I see
how much I’m the same).

so besides goodbye
it’s too cold to keep typing

& Scotland’s about to play France
in the Rugby World Cup—

a match they almost
deserve to win—

& the bagpipes swirl louder
& you’re
finally free

from that girl who’s only
—like a Platonic Ideal but lonely—
waiting for me,

from that girl in my head
so witty & pretty

& just as senti-
mentally Scots as me,

that girl you don’t,
& more’s the pity,

that girl you don’t
happen to be.

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