Between the Dee and the Don

Between the Dee and the Don
‘The middle ground is the best place to be’ 
                                -- Igbo saying

I will stand not in the past or in the future
not in the foreground or the background; 
not as the first child or the last child.
I will stand alone in the middle ground.

I was conceived between the Dee and the Don.
I was born in the city of crag and stone.

I am not a daughter to one father.
I am not a sister to one brother.
I am light and dark.
I am father and mother.

I was conceived between the Dee and the Don.
I was born in the city of crag and stone.

I am not forgiving and I am not cruel.
I will not go against one side.
I am not wise or a fool.
I was not born yesterday.

I was conceived between the Dee and the Don.
I was born in the city of crag and stone.

I can say tomorrow is another day tomorrow.
I come from the old world and the new.
I live between laughter and sorrow.
I live between the land and the sea.

I was conceived between the Dee and the Don.
I was born in the city of crag and stone.
Jackie Kay

from Fiere (London: Picador, 2011)

Reprinted by permission of the author
Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published five collections of poetry for adults (The Adoption Papers won the Forward Prize, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award) and several for children. She was awarded an MBE in 2006.

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