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