Third Degree Burns by Lorna Wallace

Third Degree Burns by Lorna Wallace

If Burns had been alive today
I often wunner whit he’d say;
Wid he be unco proud tae ca’
Himsel’ a Scot
Or would he see a land
Where decency’s forgot?

Wid he be proud o’ Scotland noo
Tae witness things that some folk do:
Runnin’ ither buddies doon
Wi herts so cold,
Condemning folk fur things
Outwith their ane control?

Wid Burns look on the Brexiteers
An’ run tae join them In their jeers
Of “refugees go hame,
We dinnae want ye here”,
Or wid he write o’ their sma’ minds
Wi rage sincere?

I rather think that Burns wid greet
Tae see the hameless oan the street
An’ see folk walkin’ by them
Wae contemptuous malice
While worshippin’ some family
Livin’ in a palace.

Wid he still write “a man’s a man”
See’n poverty across the land
An’ aw the super wealthy
Livin’ life tax free
While wee weans freeze ‘cause maw can’t pay
The heatin’ fee?

Wid he still staun fur ‘Auld Land Syne’
Right next tae them an’ sing the lines:
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot”
An’ take their hands
If he kent o’ their hatred
T’ward their fellow man?

If Burns could see the bigotry,
Intolerance an’ cruelty
Directed at oor neeburs,
Feart an’ far fae hame,
Wid he no weep tae see his country
Brought tae shame?

The man who spoke o’ gratefu’ prayer
An’ treatin’ fellow men wi care
Wid see a refugee as but
A brer long lost
An’ listen tae the tales o’
Every sea they’d crossed.

He’d bile wae rage tae read The Sun,
An’ racist vitriol it’s spun,
Drippin’ doon its poison
Tae the brain-deid masses
An’ makin’ Tory voters o’
The workin’ classes.

An’ if Burns heard the BBC
He’d never pay his licence fee –
He’d no pay fur propaganda,
Spin an’ lies,
He’d staun an’ tell us aw
Tae open up our eyes.

Robert Burns wid sure detest
The wiy his country’s been oppressed;
Forced doon a path that cuts us aff
Fae neeburs, freens –
He’d want Scotland free again
By any means.

So, in Burns’ name, let’s join thegither,
Extendin’ friendship tae each ither;
Scotland welcomes wan an’ a’
Let’s make it clear:
Nae maitter where ye come fae
You are welcome here.


About the Author

For as long as she can remember, Lorna Wallace has loved to write. In 2014 she began her WordPress blog with ‘Tae A Selfie’, a poem inspired by Robert Burns’ ‘Tae A Haggis’. The poem went viral across social media and since then she has written poetry in broad Scots as well as in standard English. In 2016 she also won first prize in a New Zealand competition for her poem about Donald Trump, ‘A Scot’s Lament Fur Her American Fellows’, from which a few verses even made it onto the posters of anti-Trump protesters in England.


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