I visited my patient yesterday.

He is from Alloa.

In the Lowlands of Scotland.

A tall,

Former miner

Now ageing gracefully.

His grandson was there

And his red-headed great-grand daughter.

She sat colouring as I sounded

The old man’s chest.

‘Papa, I’ll pop to the chemist.’

Said the grandson.

He refers to himself in the second person

as Papa too,

As in,

‘‘What were you thinking, Papa?’ She asked,’ He might say.

His grand daughter

That is.

His family, close-knit

Like a finely woven


And me.

My grandfather

Was Papa too.

And I wonder whether this is a Scottish thing

Beyond the affectations

Of the English upper-class,

As in Papa. Like Nicole in the Clio advert of the 90’s.

Papa. With two flat-A’s.

A doubling-up of Pa.

And the links that connect us with our pasts

That hang

By a weakening thread

To our present.

Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

2 thoughts on “Papa

  1. My nana and my mother were both Scottish . My grandparents were nana and papa , I think when we were kids , people thought i was posh …. or wied or both calling him papa !!

    Liked by 1 person

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