George Square

George Square
My seventy-seven-year-old father
put his reading glasses on
to help my mother do the buttons
on the back of her dress.
'What a pair the two of us are!'
my mother said, 'Me with my sore wrist,
you with your bad eyes, your soft thumbs!'

And off they went, my two parents
to march against the war in Iraq,
him with his plastic hips. Her with her arthritis,
to congregate at George Square, where the banners
waved at each other like old friends, flapping,
where they'd met for so many marches over their years,
for peace on earth, for pity's sake, for peace, for peace. 
Jackie Kay

from Life Mask (Bloodaxe, 2005)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
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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About George Square

George Square National Poetry Day postcard 2009

This poem was reproduced on a postcard for National Poetry Day 2009. Eight poetry postcards are published each year by the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate National Poetry Day and are distributed throughout Scotland to schools, libraries and other venues. The theme for 2009 was heroes and villains. You can find out more about National Poetry Day in our National Poetry Day pages.