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Kinship with Burns's ©

Stella
Fife, Scotland
2007

My elders spoke of him
As Rabbie
Came home from suppers
Full of him
One uncle would hail him
A rare chiel
One aunt tut tutted
“The pair bairns” And I listened

He became a far flung member
Of our clan
I sensed he lived in the west
For me that meant beyond Kinglassie
For surely the men went to a supper there
I put him in my memory bank
Along with garnered knowledge

At school we spoke his words
Competed with others in song and poem
Sweet Afton and Tam on his mare
And haggis for school dinner
Late in January
In senior school I heard about
His “other women” and pair Jean

My culture drip fed his words
He became part of my identity
Brick on brick like others
I built my own cairn to Rabbie
Still I sense he is somewhere
In the West beyond Kinglassie
A relative I never met…but know



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