The Highland Matriarch

Author: Anna Russell / Labels: ,

The bairns come to her
Forced to visit, armed to the hilt
With brain numbing gadgetry
Anything but Rooted
But she has weapons of her own.

'Beag air bheag' she tells herself
'Beag air bheag.'

She starts with the wee ones
A song before slumber
'Griogal Cridhe' swims from her lips
The bairns don't understand the words
But her voice,
Swollen with the lilts of their ancestors,
Soothes them into heavy liddedness

The bigger ones shift and fidget
This is not the life
The adverts promise them
But she is undeterred
And tells tales
Their tales
Of Jacobites
Of Grey Men
Second Sight
And a land that cries daily
To be remembered

Years later
The bairns are grown
They travel
As We are wont to do
People hear the accent
And ask about home
The land they, as strangers
Have heard so much about
And these bairns who are grown
Remember the Highland Matriarch
And pass on her tales
Her songs
With fire in their eyes
And pride in their bellies

Anna Russell