Saturday, 2 March 2013

This time a Scottish poem on abortion

The Porter by Edwin Morgan

This poem is the last of five in a sequence about an abortion. It sounds best out loud in Scots. 

     Ah know ah tellt them lies at the enquiry. 
     Ah sayed ah thought the wean wis dead 
     when ah took it tae the incinerator. 
     Ah didny think the wean wis dead, 
     but ah didny ken fur shair, did ah? 
     It's no fur me tae question the doctors. 
     Ah get a bag fae the sister, right? 
     She says take that an burn it. She's only 
     passin on the doctor's instructions, 
     but she seen the wean, she thought it wis dead, 
     so ye canny blame her. And the doctor says 
     ye canny blame him. Everybody wants 
     tae come doon on me like a tonna bricks. 
     Ah canny go aboot openin disposal bags - 
     if ah did ah'd be a nervous wreck. 
     Ah passed two electricians in the corridor 
     and ah tellt them the wean wis alive 
     but they thought ah wis jokin. Efter that 
     ah jist shut up, an left it tae the boilerman 
     tae fin oot fur hissel - he couldny miss it 
     could he? The puir wee thing wis squeelin 
     through the bag wis it no? Ah canny see 
     ah had tae tell him whit wis evident. 
     - Ah know ah'm goin on aboot this. 
     But suppose the kiddy could've been saved - 
     or suppose the boilerman hadny noticed it - 
     mah wee lassie's gote a hamster, ye ken? - 
     and ah fixed up a treadmill fur it 
     and it goes roon and roon and roon - 
     it's jist like that. Well, ah'm no in court noo. 
     Don't answer nothin incriminatin, says the sherrif. 
     And that's good enough fur yours truly. 
     And neither ah did, neither ah did, 
     neither ah did, neither ah did.

H/T to Ben at Countercultural Father whose idea it was to publish poems on abortion throughout the 40 Days.


  1. Thank you for this post. It is very real, harrowing in fact.

  2. It's so sad.But it's not a crime. If this was done to a three month old, six months,one year...The world lives in shame.


  3. Anonymous@ 2.44 - of course it's a crime.

  4. Richard,Of course it's a sin. A crime, maybe it's semantics.Because I am sure that you and I agree that is an abomination.