Portrait o a lady

Auntie Baabie,
fowr generations pairtin wis,
an her paece, wir play.
Efter ninety year, nae muckle left
ta say?

Late i da mornin
twa black legs
at da tap o da laft ledder.
Smucks trivvelin doon peerie-wyes
nae budder.

Wöshed her
in water fae da burn;
redded her hair, slow ta da waist.
Curn black hit wis;
scored an plaited it,
wippit hit roond her lugs:
a lass at haert.

Bakit oat scones
klined dem fur wis
wi fresh weet butter; fed
da black fant o da stove, made maet.
Nivver dippit her:
nae saet.

On da heicht o da paet stack,
shö watched wir biggin: tapster,
keepin her counsel.
Straight mossy eens fur da waa,
a haert a blue clods:
nae bassel.

Last ta bed
shö slockit da lamp,
restit da stove
slow stramp.

Whin we left fur hame
sixpences i wir löfs shö birsed
an blissit wis
wi a wird.

Christine De Luca, The Shetland Library, 1998


  • "Her poetry - forthright but subtle - is a pleasure to read."New Playwriting Scotland, Winter Issue, 97/98
  • "There is not an unnecessary word: every page brings mind and ear to attention."The New Shetlander, No. 202 - Yule Issue 1997
  • "Christine celebrates Shetland landscape and memories as well as putting in a fag for MacCaig."The Scotsman, November 1998
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