The way he tells it, she was beautiful

like a Daley’s Girl,

her auburn hair resplendent as he looked across the cafe

over the clatter of cups and the rising chatter,

Elvis on the juke box and neon in the window.

“That’s the girl I’m going to marry!” while elbowing his mate, who laughed

at the absurdity of it.


But in simpler times that coup de foudre

could lead to marriage in a blue Crimplene suit

with borrowed pearls.

A room and kitchen start

to tenement life.

But she dreamed and pushed

and pushed for something better. A seaside

Glasgow overspill  New Town and

away from the dirt and grime of city life.


It is ironic that their granddaughter

found the draw of the city irresistible

and moved to a regenerated area

once shunned by those who spoke its name in

whispered tones. Brazen –

a dangerous slum, now a yuppie draw

with no more disease and