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Page 52 text:
IF by Susan Gardiner If you thought that I could not see the sadness in you you thought me blind. If you felt that I could not perceive the traces of loneliness in your voice you thought me deaf. Were I unaware of the depression wrought in you, I would ask to see. Were I unable to sense the presence of anxiety I should beg you for the sense of touch. If I were too blind — too deaf too unfeeling — I would not call myself " your understanding friend. " CONSCRIPTION by Margot Tushingham The young boy came rushing down the hill, run- ning as fast as he could without tripping. Bounding and leaping over the short gorse bushes and low areas of heather, that are found all over the Highlands, he scrambled down the crags to the croft below. His mother, looking out a window, saw him coming and realized his urgency. It could mean only one thing. The year was 1917 and the British were fighting in the First World War. Conscription! — of every able- bodied man, be he Irish, Welsh, Scottish or English, And now they had come to Nethy Bridge, a little town nestled at the foot of the Cairngorms. Al- ready the woman had heard of the conscription 44
Page 51 text:
(Espanol ADIOS by Maria Elena Orellana Que me has dado otra decepcion? no importa amor, estoy acostumbrada, que rechazas mi triste corazon? Que importa si nunca lo has aceptado. Sabes siempre existe otra promesa, y mi ilusion no morira del todo. Hoy? dejame fallecer ya quiza manana Ame otra vez . . . GOOD-BYE (translation) That you gave me another deception doesn ' t matter. I am accustomed, to your repulsing my sad heart? It doesn ' t matter since you have never accepted it before. You know, there always exists another promise, and my illusion won ' t die at all. Today? let me live like that Perhaps tomorrow I will love again. PARTING by Jan Sinclair I turn my back to walk away. My love stands mute and still behind; Alone I ' ll tread, yet I don ' t mind. He ' ll taste his tears - I ' ll just see mine. 43
Page 53 text:
in Glasgow and Edinburgh but In the Highlands the threat was worse. Who would plow the fields, shep- herd the animals and forage if the young men were gone? For a lonely widow the prospects were bleak. The boy ' s turn had come, that was certain. However, his Mother was going to prevent his being taken as long as she could, if not thwart the English entirely. Her son burst into the cottage, his eyes wild and scared, his breathing laboured and jerky. His mother shook him and explained a plan she had for- mulated. She said he must go and hide in the uppermost hay loft of the barn. Under no circumstances could he come out or make a sound. She would call to him in Gaelic when it was safe for him to come out. She gave him a shove out of the door and called in Gaelic, " Are ye all right? " The answer came back low and frightened, " Ay " . She turned her back on the barn, re-entered the croft and waited for the English to arrive. She did not have long to wait. In a few minutes a rap came at the door and she opened it to face a tall imposing man in the uniform of a British soldier. Behind him she could see numerous other men all dressed in the same way. None smiled, none moved, none looked at the beautiful scenery, the rolling hills, going up to the snow-capped mountain, the rushing burns that pelted down out of the hillside or the blue- grey of the loch behind the croft. They stood like statues, grey, unfeeling and invincible. Only the leader seemed to betray any human characteris- tics. " Where is your son? " he said in English. The woman replied in English also. " He is awa ' up the brae an ' I dinna ken when he ' ll be back " . " Then you don ' t mind if we search? " For a second the woman ' s heart went cold. " No, I dinna mind " , she said. She stood by as the men examined every inch of the cottage, from the peat box to the slate roof. Outside they examined all the small outbuildings and then proceeded toward the barn. A cold hand gripped the Mother ' s heart. They searched the ground floor thoroughly and went toward the lad- der leading up to the loft. " There ' s nothing up there but hay " , she said, " Ye can look if ye want, but ye ' ll no find him up there " . The commander gave her a long cool stare which she returned with every ounce of will power she had. At last he spoke, " Come on, men. It is evident that no one ' s here. We have pestered this poor woman enough " . The soldiers grouped themselves outside the barn and waited for their leader. He joined them and started to lead them off down the glen. As he turned to look back at the croft he heard the woman shouting to him in Gaelic. In reality the mother was directing this to her son in the barn. " Bide a wee minute longer, bairn, the dirty brutes are going noo " . The commander turned and called back to her, also in Gaelic, " Ye can tell him to come out now. The dirty brutes are gone " . Q SD C 5::S) 45
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