Just Being

After the food, the picnic extends
into rounders, face-painting,
parachute games.

You are parked at the edge,
rug round your angular frame.
Two little girls sit with you.
Their legs dangle.

In this snug circle of prattle
they steal your label of senility:
their words and yours hold
no more than the moment

make no demands.
But your glow shows
you still know companionship,
the art of being.

On this warm day
each of you almost masters
the lesser art of the ice cream cone.
Seeing it daubed on your nose,
one of them laughs,
points to the place. You smile
with your eyes, lean
contentedly, unsurprised

by the huge butterfly painted
on her perfect face.

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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