A G.P. Submits Case Notes by Beth McDonough

(Evidence of Reasons for Non-attendance at Incidents in Orchards by St Madoes)

Monday: Maggie Sinclair fell from a recent-rotted bough,
brought on by last winter’s wersh of snows.
If she bruised, sustained a twist, well, nothing left her lips.
She still won’t let me know.

Tuesday: Some creeping culprit cut up Cutler Grieve.
No-one knew quite why.
If he needed surtures, I really couldn’t say.
The family made it clear. They consider me a spy.

Wednesday: Little Oslin was wormy to the core.
I expect he festered quickly. Yes, I fear
they just suspect he’s resting, but
he doesn’t want me near.

Thursday: Rough wee Scrog was dragged off in the jaws
of their neighbour’s toothless dog.
Perhaps I asked too much.
They claimed they saw the Vet, but they looked at me agog.

Friday: Yon Scotch Dumpling was scabbed in every place.
I even mentioned maggots,
but they crumbled at my offer.
I know. I’ll never make my targets.

But, bugger me – the weekend!

What I watched the Lass o’ Gowrie do
furrowed with her burly Bloody Ploughman
may not require me quickly, but be certain
their activities and liberties will need a closer scan.

Beth McDonough finds poems whilst swimming in lochs and rivers, foraging and riddling with Anglo Saxons. Often writing of a maternal experience of disability, she was Writer in Residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts 2014-16. ‘Handfast,’ her poetry duet pamphlet (with Ruth Aylett) was published in May 2016.