My seventy seven year old father
Put his reading glasses on
To help my mother do the buttons
On the back of her dress.
‘What a pair the two of us are!’
my mother said, ‘Me with my sore wrist,
you with your bad eyes, your soft thumbs!’
And off they went, my two parents
To march against the war in Iraq,
Him with his plastic hips, her with her arthritis
To congregate at George Square where the banners
Waved at each other like old friends, flapping,
Where’d they’d met for so many marches over their years,
For peace on earth, for pity’s sake, for peace, for peace.
from Life Mask (Bloodaxe, 2005), © Jackie Kay 2005, used by permission of the author and the publisher.