Farm – 1980
Gerard Rochford's June poem
'Passionate fear of pity is also pity.'
The family had a saying: Honest as a collie.
Reared to believe that it's the sons who count,
only boys are handsome, useful, inherit,
the boys, only the boys, the boys…
She grew up to defy them, went to Oxford,
fell for her female tutor, never declared;
played the piano, painted exquisite flowers,
took a first-class honours, worked as a typist.
And there she was at eighty looking back,
aloof as a duchess, witty; treating me
like a servant, which I was willing to be.
Honest as a collie: and indeed she was,
shepherding her memories, keeping watch
for any hint of pity as her words came sheaved
in sadness for the love that passed her by.
Put down for not working the land
and planting more boys.
Gerard lives in Aberdeen. He is the Scottish Review's Makar and contributes a poem each month. Publications include: 'Failing Light' and 'Of Love