I told the Census I identified as Scottish
Because I was asked the question
and gifted permission to make a choice
despite what my accent and my birth certificate
might have to say.
Because I like what I see when I look past the hills
and the coasts and the gorse-clad beauty
into a place that acts like it deep down cares
about treating neighbours and giving fair chances
Because I hear the love in your beered-up, closing-time shouts
“Morag, you are a strange and wonderful woman”
wooed with every word slurred
and the tin whistle left in the pocket, just for now
Because I don’t have to take a test to be here
and show that I understand the rules of cricket,
or remember when the Magna Carta was written
or care that Stilton is famous for its cheese.
But because it is me doing the identifying let me offer one stanza of opinion:
That curling is not the most entertaining of winter sports
That Irn Bru is foul and kilts are kitsch
That bagpipes are best played outside; if at all
And that Rabbie Burns is not as internationally respected as Shakespeare
for reasons that are obvious.
But also let me say
that none of that detracts from the greatness of a place
that I just wish had the confidence to be a bit less chippy
Written in response to Scotland, You’re No Mine by Hannah Lavery.