• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 11
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Lay It On My Back

Men on horseback murder the peace.
Striding into the valley
with flames aloft,
arrogance under top hats -
men of the laird.
'Sweep them out.
They're of no worth.
Bring in the sheep
and coming riches.
What have we here?
A granny on her own.
Turf her out on her chair,
smash everything you find.
They must go,
anywhere but here.'

Mòrag of the machair,
toes full of vigour,
blonde locks in the wind.
Mother and father lost at sea,
grandmother and brother waiting.
Waves hurl a warning.
Hiss. Hiss.
She spins to the croft.
Black smoke belches into the sky.
Her legs carry her to the sight.
Her heart throbs in her throat.


Lay It On My Back

Old Màiri Anna,
a witness to so much,
but this is her darkest day.
Her resistance defied them.
Such strength and will,
outlived dear Tormod
to face this fear alone.
On hands and knees,
with the whipping elements,
her alarmed eyes fall on her home.
Her dead solace, now the fire's sacrifice.
Cracking, snapping, a nightmare unmasked.
A gasp, shiver and kiss for the earth.

Hearing shouts ricochet,
Anndra puts up a fight
with spirit and bare hands
just for the ground to claim him.
A land wounded and scarred,
coupled with his story of agony.
Blasted. Ravaged.
Grass and heather caress his body
nimbly and beautifully.


Lay It On My Back

Mòrag weeps as she reaches her home.
The fire was faster than her.
A Mhòrag!
You're too late.
Trauma stole your grandmother,
a bullet your brother.
Young and fair,
never have you known the like.
Where will you go?
What souls will you encounter?
I'll carry some of the sadness.
Lay it on my back,
a Mhòrag.