They say that’s where London used to be, but we don’t remember. We’ve seen pictures – sodden, then dried out, faded pictures. We’ve heard the stories – alcohol-soaked, never-to-dry-out, kaleidoscopic stories. We’ve felt their pain – sob-drowned, sinking, seeping pain. Up here, we say we’re drookit when we’re wet, but they don’t know the word, so they haven’t started to worry yet. We say, ‘Dinna fash,’ instead of ‘don’t worry’. They hear it as comfort. And it is. Though false. If we used their tongue, they’d hear the lie. Up here, even this high, we all lie. And I never did learn how to swim.
Karen Jones