Here’s Tae Yeh Mistress Henderson by Alun Robert

When sun dips doon oer Campsie Fells
o Neolithic chambers an Iron Age fort whar
crooked fairies creep passed Earl’s Seat
day efter day an noo it’s Halloween as
wee bats glide doon on circular swoops
an kelpies salivate fur this is their nicht,
auld wifie Henderson peers oer her bi-focals
tackin time frae granpa - gaes him a grin. Noo

is the moment fur tae rise frae her sofa
tae fill yon enamel bath wi ice cald water.
Chops up ripe coxes frae aff village trees.
Suspends binder twine a across her scullery.
Loops nooses tae dangle feet aff stane tiles
ready fur coxes smeared wi double-thick treacle.
Lays oot tatty scones wi strained rasp jam
an tumblers o scoosh - Vimto an Irn-Bru. Ready,

waitin fur Goths wi fluorescent skeletons,
teuchter winged wizards an deadly warlocks,
those wi painted faces an them wha not
like lambs in a bothie then in they traipse
yon peely-wally guisers - loons an quines
wi sparklers on mitts bocht frae the Co-op as
catherine wheels spin, fire crackers thump
an rockets cast an echo oer Campsie Fells. Fur

oors o fickle frolic played oot in her hoose.
Lachter an merriment wi trick or treat frae
scary wee fouk scoffing the brine wi
indelible memories tae pass tae their ain.
Then on the dot o ten yon racket stops.
Wynds noo packed wi fouks gan hame.
Crescent oerheed castin shadows frae dark.
Mistress Henderson sighs - anither year gone.


Dedicated to the kind hearted elderly ladies of Scotland
who opened their doors to (dis)guisers at Halloween


During the summer of 2018, poetry by Alun Robert has won third place in the RNIB’s Writing Competition, received Commendation in the Federation of Writers Scotland Vernal Equinox Poetry Competition, been published in The Curlew by Wild Wood Press and displayed in Nine Muses Poetry and The Ekphrastic Review websites.

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