Scottish Dream Teams by Ian C. Smith

Graves ago, football scores on the family radio.
The Scottish league’s exotic names,
Hearts of Midlothian, Partick Thistle,
conjuring a fantastical north,
swords clashing under louring skies.
Hamilton Academicals, Third Lanark,
Alloa Athletic, St. Mirren, Airdrieonians.
I didn’t care about table positions.
Stenhousemuir posted modest scores
but I saw ruffled rooks on castle battlements.
Queen of the South, calligraphic, carved,
could be a ship, a headline, a racehorse.
It seemed a geographical contradiction.
I imagined a transported Boudicca
defiant on Scotland’s rainwrapt shingle.
Londonish, so in Sassanach territory,
our teams sported storybook names,
Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur,
Leyton Orient, Queens Park Rangers,
and our city, historical pageantry,
but it was of those Scottish teams I dreamed

All Rights Reserved--2007-2024