Day dawns with a wind from the west
and clouds that sit halfway down the hill.
How long, my dear, have we known this place?
Let’s say more than fifty years, to be safe,
fifty years, five decades, six hundred months plus,
and the weeks and the days and the hours
must accrue uncounted, for calculation
adds little to the balance of life’s experience.
Things seen and done add to memory,
are shuffled like cards in a pack,
come to the top in ways we can’t determine.
Remember this then: that here we stand,
together, once and fifty times, and this remains.
About this poem
This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2017. Best Scottish Poems is an online publication, consisting of 20 poems chosen by a different editor each year, with comments by the editor and poets. It provides a personal overview of a year of Scottish poetry. The editor in 2017 was Roddy Woomble.
I’m uncomfortable writing about poetry, my own included. I can’t do literary analysis – my background was in science, not literature. Our place grew, as most of my writing does, from a line which popped into my head, and an idea to explore particular places which have a meaning to Jane and I. I don’t describe a specific place in the poem – that’s part of the backstory for my imagination to use in the writing – and in a marriage of more than fifty years there are many significant places for us. We both like to travel, and we travel well together. We know when to talk about places, and when to keep our thoughts to ourselves and just look, enjoying the sharing. Our place is simply a love poem.