Doonsizin’

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Efter fifty years of toil a’m loused

For retirement- let us get re-housed.

We can afford a new-built, bigger hoose

Oor weans huv flown – There’s nae excuse,

We can settle doon beside the sea,

And sip cocktails on oor balcony.

Ye’ll hae a room jist fur yer claes.

Beside the Forth we’ll end wur days.

“Balerno’s great I’ve loved it here.

A move to Fife fills me with fear.

I’d miss my friends and neighbours too.

This house means more to me than you.”

Although ma wife seems weel contentit

The Lanark road has me dementit.

Of a’ roads it’s the yin maist hated.

Each month it’s needin’ excavated.

Oor gairden’s jist a sma’ clay patch

A can start anither yin frae scratch.

“I know I promised to obey.

But, swear that you won’t make me stay –

In exile and you’ll make amends

Take me back here to live near friends.”

She’ll no like Fife? The thoucht’s absurd

And so I gladly gied ma word.

We selt the hoose, leavin’ stuff behind-

Too quick for her tae change her mind

And headed for the Promised Land

And oor new hoose – jist as a’d planned.

The rooms were large. The view sublime.

I knew she’d love it – given time.

A landscaping chap we did employ

The gairdin wis ma pride and joy

A pick’t and dug and raked and sowed,

Compost and dung by the barrowload.

I spent there mony happy oors

Growin’ neeps and tatties – caulifloors.

A decade passed- ma oath forgot, but she-

Has an elephantine memory.

Her martyred air and her persistence,

Jist rubbed awa’ at ma resistance.

Her subtle hints – Ken whit a mean?

She sang “I’ll Take you Home Again Kathleen.”

A black cloud loomed ower ma horizon

Wi’ hindsight maybe’s no surprisin.

Oor family wis nae longer scattered

Maist noo livin jist ower the watter,

In a new estate ca’ed Calderwood

My future prospects? -no sae good.

“You mind that oath to me you swore –

We would not live here any more

In this big house beside the waters

We’ll get a small one near our daughters.”

My apprehension fast wis rising.

“We’re leaving here.” She said –“DOONSIZING !”

This day wid never come a’ prayed.

But SHE’s “The One must be Obeyed.”

There’s nae doot wha really is the boss.

She pushed oor hoose sale through at loss

And tho’ a might prevaricate

The move wis set in a’ bit date.

My maths are poor, but still I know

That twa intae the yin won’t go.

Whaur dae you think we’ll pit oor stuff

That new hoose is nae big enough

“Some of it has had its day.

You will have to give the rest away.”

We cleared the hoose –likewise the attic

The charity shops’ staff were ecstatic.

Vases, books and jeely jaurs,

Table, cots – a chest-o-drawers.

An auld wife took in a’ we wid gie ‘er.

She even took oor chiminea.

Fife’s mines are shut. Nae mair howkin’ coal.

The heaviest thing maist lift there is the “dole.”

But removal guys, muscled in a’ places

Nae yin kicks sand in thae guys faces.

They quickly loaded oor possessions.

Their three vans set aff in procession.

Aw oor weans came tae help wi’ the removal

They hoped tae gain their Mum’s approval.

Bystanders stopped tae look at us

In procession like an Exodus.

My wife wis robed, her Sunday best on.

Like Moses played by Charlton Heston.

“The house is small. I will ease your worry

We’ll build a new conservatory.”

Thus showing off her perspicacity-

Low cunning – maybe or sagacity.

She thus regained some space she’d lost.

With scant regard unto the cost.

Things have a way of coming good.

I’m loving life in Calderwood.

I’m really pleased you’ll understand

Tae hae fower grandsons close at hand.

We a’ are happy and my present wife –

Says that she hardly ever misses Fife.

Listen weel tae whit a’say.

Mak shair yer last move is one-way

Don’t promise whit ye micht weel rue

Yer words may come back tae bite you.

Ye’ll find oot that it hits ye hard

Tae be hoisted by yer ain petard.

Ma freends a hope a did nae bore ye

Wi’ whit fur me, is a movin’ story.

A dream gan wrang –it wid appear-

I bocht the joys o’ Fife ower dear.

Tae summarise this little verse—

My next move will be in a hearse!

Andy McGowan

25th January 2020