Strolling around it’s not so changed – Glasgow still has its Lasses All cheek bones And button-nose, grouted faces; Edinburgh still speaks in masonry And living rock,

Behind stage-backdrop skies.

Semi-known faces negotiate roads, Frequent coffee shops – Voices and noises take their pitch In the key of noon.

Yet slicing through the scene’s Murmured sounds, I cannot help noticing

The buses – Their destinations Inscribed on their foreheads With haughty purpose,

Each one plying toward a place Much missed, Where a shackled memory Lays sleeping;

OCEAN TERMINAL (Where her and I wept the end)

CRAMOND (Where we sauntered one weekend)

MORNINGSIDE (‘Where all became a burning mist…’)

Pleasant – The unexpected Refraction of thought, Their laborious presence provokes.

And as evening weighs its tender jaw On lambent streets, Now bristling with twilight enterprise My gaze again meets

The buses: Their brows Now showing in yellow The towns And memory lanes

This time Strapped with a warning; of History’s dusk And future’s mourning

In hideous glare:

‘Look at the past, of course, But whatever you do, Don’t stare.’

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