Poem for September

Jimmy Five Daughters

baby born
third wean
first boy
Isabella Lochhead
David Quarrell
Old Rutherglen Road
Tenement Gorbals
trams trundled past
as baby arrived
as he came into the world
survival tenuous
given mortality figures
of that time.

survive wee jimmy did
my father
Jimmy Five Daughters
think he be proud
of his clan of today.

our generation
can never truly know
our parents struggles
only that times
were hard
striving for better
for their children
impossible tasks
WW1 cannon fodder
slum housing overcrowding
many diseases at every door
WW2 massive losses
No visionary NHS
until 1948.

now in my elder self
I consider
I reflect
I see
their strengths
their stamina
their guts.

I offer up
heartfelt thanks
blessings for
their spirits
(sometimes broken)
of resistance.

By Christina Milarvie Quarrell

Postscript – What will Scotland learn or remember generationally from this Pandemic.
Post War Scotland at least for the first decade held shared values (hope for a better world) within most families and communities which placed sharing cooperation and empathy as important in our every day lives. Since March 2020 many of these same values are growing in strength. It is citizens and their collective actions (not politicians) who lead and change society.

Many thanks to Christina for sharing her poem and words with the Voice.