DAY FIFTEEN – Jon Plunkett

Talking about Scottish independence with a neighbour

(For Ronnie)


There is a wall between us.
Its cracks and caverns
are black with ants.

He sees his raised flag
as a symbol of unity and pride.
I see the stripped flap of any flag

as a sign of division
the colour of illusion.
It shows allegiance

to Queen and country he says.
I have no queen I answer.
Now he’s waving

a finger, leaning
across the no-mans-land
of the wall top.

He’s forgotten about the ants,
calls them little bastards
as they bite and I grin.

Tomorrow I will dust it
with ant killer so we can join again
in the tangle of our differences

and share a dram
across the wall
as it crumbles between us.



Born in Northern Ireland, Jon Plunkett now lives and writes in Scotland. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals including Poetry Scotland, Acumen, Gutter, and Northwords Now. As well as writing, Jon is leading the development of a poetry path in the Scottish Highlands, and is the organiser of the ‘Loose Tongues, Live Poetry’ limb of the Aberfeldy Festival. This  poem first appeared in an edition of Poetry Scotland.


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