I only discovered this morning that it was World Poetry Day. This is what I wrote for it. I started out wanting to write a poem about the Glasgow “scramble” when the father of the bride would release a fistful of coins onto the street for the waiting weans to scramble for as the bride’s car drove off. This is what happened instead.

It started at the dancin wi a lumber

A gangly lad wi acne and a stammer

He said his ma cleaned hooses, da’s a plumber

They lived in Auchenshuggle wi his nana.

He walked her hame tae Govan, took him ages

They stopped aff once or twice tae snog and fumble

He took her number, said he’d call her, maybe

They said goonight wi tongues and close-heid tumble.

For weeks the wynched while she was slowly swelling

She never told him why her tits were tender

But soon her ma wis cryin, wailin, yellin

At the scan, she didn’t want tae know the gender.

Her dad said they should marry, make it legal.

Her mammy said she’d make a blushing bride

The neighbours waited by the wedding vehicle

To see how much a wedding dress could hide.

The ceremony was short, no time tae ponder

The scout hall had a buffet, cold and cheap

She thought that happiness was now beyond her

In the toilets everyone could hear her weep.

The baby, when it came, looked like its mother

Their flat wis damp, the walls were poxed wi mould

To keep warm they held on to one another

But nothing kept away the creeping cold.

More babies came. A family of seven

Her tiny arse ballooned, his ardour calmed

She stacked shelves at the co-op, made a living

He drank too much, played guitar in a band.

If you’re looking for a moral tae this story

For a lesson you can take and understand

I have none. For this is love in all it’s glory

The heart wants what it wants and sense be damned.

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