- Vol. 07
- Chapter 01
I grew up here.
The old couple next door
had a grandson in Spain. Every summer
he'd visit and we'd play
video games on dusty consoles,
run laps around the garden,
read books a bit too old for us
in different languages.
I went to school here.
The French boy in my class
taught me a song:
"Alouette, gentille alouette,
Alouette, je te plumerai."
We chanted it in the playground,
a dozen Scots-lilted larks,
and we counted oon doo twa.
I studied here.
Eraserhead, RockSoc, what's it like
in Bratislava? Introducing friends
over a Bergman movie,
a Slovak and a Romanian
discussing Irvine Welsh novels.
They got married last month.
We all wore kilts. The Bride
saved someone's life the next day.
I walked past the Polish market
on Gorgie Road, and the bus shelter said
Apply for Settlement.
"We need to take back our country"
reads a sticker
above the 10-year anniversary announcement
of a Balkans-themed club night.
If you flipped the flag of Bosnia
and Herzegovina it would look like
our hate crime statistics.
I grew up here,
on this tiny