carries the guid Scots tongue in her heid
all the way to London
where it becomes like the kitchen china
worn and cracked with use
kept in the press with the girdle and the spurtle,
the ashet and the jeelie pan.
The good china of English
is what you bring out for visitors:
kept in the credenza
with the key in its lock.
Lift it carefully on to the silver-plated tray.
Remember which language
you’re speaking in. Dinnae –
About this poem
This poem was reproduced on a postcard for National Poetry Day 2006. 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 2006 was identity. You can find out more about National Poetry Day in our National Poetry Day pages, where you’ll also find resources to go with the poems.