This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Edward Mackinnon Two Poems
A Finnish Story*

Landless, she worked on the land of a great landlord and his lady
    where the grass was lush and fat cows blinked at the northern light
But she had to walk thirty miles with a fish and a pound of butter
    and having an honest heart she told everyone she met on the way
    that the good fish and butter she was carrying were for her son
    and had been given to her by the lady of her great landlord
    because her son was in prison
The northern air was as sharp as the spiny fins of a fish
    and the sun was the colour of pale butter
    and she had to walk thirty miles
For part of the way she was given a lift by a farmer
    and as she always babbled and spoke from the heart
    she said the lady of the estate with lush grass and white birches
    had given her a fish and a pound of butter for her son in prison
But when she told him her son was a Red
    (it was the time after the civil war)
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