Comin Oot In The Wash

Rowena M. Love [Makar Press, Troon, 2008] 32pp., £5.00.

This wee buik is a guid fiver’s warth, Rowena Love screives in guid, consistent Scots. Mony o the poems leuk back til her bairnheid; some ir kinna fey, ettlin tae grup mindins o bygane days afore they flichter awa. Lik her poem anent her faither lairnin her hou tae read:

Nae fur me yer cat oan a mat,

naw, Ah’d a dominie fur a faither

or learnin tae be, whiles,

wi’ me his wee pet rat.


She tells hou her faither stack labels on aathin lik ‘DOOR’, ‘TELEVISION’, ‘WINDOW’ sae’s wee Rowena wad lairn the shape o wirds as she daunert roun the hous.

I raelly likit ‘Makin Pancakes’ anent makkin drap scones wi her auntie. She descrieves it that weel, she fair gies ye the norie o a drap scone yersel. Readin it I cuid amaist taste ma ain mither’s drap scones strecht aff the airn girdle on the auld gas cooker or the Triplex grate. Rowena feinishes the poem bi sayin hou the new-makkit scones got happit in a tea-towel: ‘cosy in thir linen as me wi hur’.

Ilka bairn suid hae a minnie, a granny or an auntie lik that. An nae bairn suid hae doots anent thair sconce athin the faimily, lik the bairn in ‘Knotted Together’,


Ah aye kent Ah wis adoptet:

ye made sure o that,

wi a wee needle here, jab therr,

yer snips o comment wur hard tae miss.


I dinna ken gin this poem is autobiographical, but gin it’s no, it’s a pouerfae ensample o a screiver getting intil the sowel an inmaist thochts o an adoptit bairn,


therr wis aye somethin lackin:

the dropped stitch that wis ma Da.

Nivver sae much the threid o his name

broidert yer tongue …


No aa the poems inbye ir dowie an wistfu lik the anes I’ve quotit frae, but aa ir weel wirth readin an enjyin. The buik itsel, frae Makar Press, is a plaisure tae scance throu, braw cream paper, guid clair bleck prent an aa weel set oot.


David C. Purdie