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Comin Hame, by Ann MacKinnon

Comin hame fae Krakov
I met a young lad
on his way tae Glesga
fir wark.

His hail faimilie were seein
him aff tae his new stert,
gretin an lauchin
at aince.

He telt me he hid a job
aw lined up. He wid stay
a few years an send siller

He wis worriet aboot his English
but I telt him no tae fret
fir we dinnae spake English

For a generation we have despaired of finding well published, entire books in Scots, such has been the resistance to the market.   We can take heart from developments at Tapsalteerie Press, who have published the booklet, Nae Flooers, by Ann MacKinnon, from which this poem is taken. That Ann MacKinnon received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2014 has to be good news, too, because her Scots is confident, her vocabulary unerring and her spelling consistent within her own work. This writing is by someone who knows Scots as a complete language.

The deceptively simple poem, Coming Hame, above, transposes the poet’s concern for Scottish culture to an immigrant leaving another country. She shines a powerful light on where he is coming to, and who it is coming home to an understanding of Scotland.