This poem is taken from Stand 220, 16(4) November - December 2018.

James Aitchison Two Poems
Trooping a Colour

You had a mothering ferocity.
From your contempt for privilege I learned
the ignominy of aristocracy.

You kept your wartime ration-book vigilance
until you lost nine decades of your life.
‘Ninety-eight today? Impossible.
Take your flowers to my mother’s house.’

Thirty years ago when your memory
was as clear or clearer than mine
I dreamt I was at work. I heard hoof-beats.
From my office window I saw you,
a mounted policewoman wearing a long black cape
and riding a grey horse,
patrolling a Tory enclave of Edinburgh.

Behind the back of my mind my wordless brain
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