And we are rough still

And we are rough still,
our skin hairy, ragged, 
blunt fingers warm and inured to cold
highland winds and hardship.

In our eyes, as deep, as keen,
kith and kin rest, watching as
antlered hoofprints 
track the snow.

Dark the browns, reds, greens,
sleeping in our minds' corners,
but our fingers remember the plaid, the dirk, 
the sword and the sworn word.

Our hearts still pump the blood of Culloden's
waste and hatred boils on winter Saturdays
at Twickenham, for memory is deep as skin,
hardy as the blood passed on.

And on our own soil, in hinterland glens
our eyes mark time
and a faltering poverty keens 
as it breathes-in the sharp air,

for our fingers feel the change, 
the TV switch,
the games that keep us outside the gate
looking in.

Over bogs and fens and mist
the Lairds still win
for their vans and trains are here to stay
and all our far green hills can do

is dream, and there is nothing
left for us to do but pray.
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