We have a favourite place in Scotland that overlooks the River Tay, so we often just sit there and watch the water. The Tay is also known as the ‘Silver’ Tay and it really does shine silver. It’s a very beautiful river.
Behind where we sit, there is an Old People’s Care Home and the ladies
are often sat in their little conservatory. Although they are old and
sometimes fragile, you can still see in them the lovely young women
they once were.
That they can see the Tay, too, must be a tremendous pleasure to them.
LOOKING ACROSS THE TAY
The swans are out again, Shimmering on the dark water, Dipping into the splashes of moonlight They become moonlight themselves, Every feather sculpted in light. Little white snowflake swans Drifting down the silent river.
Behind us lies the Care Home, Where glass walls welcome the lovely moon And one lone bed With a quilt as red as roses, Lies empty in a corner.
The old ladies who live there, Watching the white and sparkling swans Sailing on the glittering water, Dreamily send their pretty, remembered bodies, Down that golden moonlit path. Frail little birds Who soon overtake the swans.
Closing on midnight, With the great starry fields Lying still and quiet in front of me, Moonlight falling like water On the silent trees, the dark furrows, The creaking ice puddles shining, Holding stars in their frozen silver, I see the first ghosts Of those I have known Drift across the white horizon, Mist folding them into sparkling shadows Slipping through my fingers When I reach out to touch them, Take them home.
They don’t go far but wait for me, Blowing the years in front of them, Opening this corner and that To let me see again, All those I have loved. All those I love still.
Until the snow finally hides them And I turn for home, The trees shivering in sympathy, Anointing my lonely head With cold tears of their own.