Another Perthshire Writer
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Back then, the label was Utility,
with jumpers knitted from unravelled wool
washed out to serviceable fawn or grey.
My mother's needful hands undid the seams
of worn-out skirts or coats, to cut and turn
and sponge and press and stitch the parts together.
"Good as new!"" she braced me, as she pulled
abrasive cloth over my shrinking skin.
Behind the blackout blinds, we heard of days
when quite unnecessary journeys were allowed,
with summer jaunts to Millport, Arran, Bute.
I longed and longed to feel the sea’s embrace,
and when this yearning grew too strong,
I’d creep, unseen, into my parents’ room.
Naked, I’d slip between the billowing quilt
and counterpane of sea-green, watered silk.
D'you know what I mean?
Well, I hear what you say,
but how do I know
that you mean what you say,
or that words which you use-
if you’re being sincere-
mean the same to my ear
so that here in my brain
connotations are clear
and I know what you mean?
Do you know what I mean?