Who? – Beth McDonough


Aye. Ye do. She pops in quite often.
The wumman wi the handicapped son.
Sometimes he shouts oot during Mass – what a laugh!
Canon doesnae mind of course – the young lad says things
we cannae quite make oot. Funny, even so.
But that’s ok. God’s fine wi fun. Bless them aa.
They say God gies you nuthing ye cannae manage.
Eh believe that too. They’re special, folk like that.
They’re verra nice. Usually they sit
twa pews up frae Mr McNee the St James heedie
and Susie, his docter wife. She knit s such lovely hats.
Somewhere near to Jean. Jean frae the cafe at the docks.
Ken she’s bought a new caravan at Inver?
He’s getting right big now. Bigger than her. And strong.
But they urr strong, urren’t they? The handicapped.
When they decide to go, they damned well will!
Well, must be hard. He’s gettin a gey big lad.
Eh see them (her an her man), catch him
by the rucksack straps when he’s breengin for the front.
He wears yon pack a lot. No, Eh’ve no idea why.
Must be a struggle in that hoose. But bless them aa.
Lovely folk. Been in this Parish for, uh… years.
In fact they had him Baptised here.
I see he takes Communion now. Oh bless.
God is good. Part of oor Church femily.
Aabuddy kens his name. We aye say hello.
Never make a difference. Ken.
I see her recently daein stewardin duty.
The young lad isnae ayeways there.
It’s guid they get a break.
Eh like to ask her fur her son. Ken she’s pleased.
You ken her fine. The wumman wi the handicapped son.

Beth McDonough’s poetry is widely anthologised and published in MagmaGutter and elsewhere. Lamping for pickled fish is published by 4Word. She swims year round in the Tay, foraging nearby.

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