Chris Boyland is a prize-winning poet who lives and works in Glasgow. His poems have been published in magazines and journals such as: [Untitled], The Poets’ Republic, 404Ink, Northwords Now, and anthologies such as Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry and the New Voices Press 2018 anthology. He has performed at spoken word nights across Central Scotland and blogs occasionally at https://theglasgowempire.scot/.
I’d borrowed some of your words -
‘wrong’, ‘useless’, ‘stupid’, ‘useless’
(seem to have two of those - dunno -
maybe one’s a hand-me-down from
You can have them back now - I’ve
finished with them - frankly, I only
took them to try and understand why
you liked them so much, why you
were always using them, but - nah,
they’re not for me. Don’t need them
anymore, not sure I ever did.
I stole some of your words - ‘pride’,
‘dignity’, ‘self-respect’ (as in, ‘have
some’ - as in, ‘show some’) - you know,
the good words, the ones I wasn’t allowed
to use coz I wouldn’t know how to work
them properly - coz I’d get them dirty -
coz I’d mess them up. I’m keeping these.
And I found some of our words, ones
I’ve not seen or used for ages - ones
I’d forgotten we had - ‘peace’, ‘hope’,
‘quiet’, ‘happy’. They’d been put in a
box, left to gather dust. I’ve taken them
out, polished them up - I’ll get a lot more
use out of them now, than we ever did.