All Clear in Aberdeen

This poem appeared in the lovely Silver: An Aberdeen Anthology

Silver: An Aberdeen Anthology, eds. Alan Spence & Hazel Hutchison (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2009)

All Clear in Aberdeen by Christine Laennec

“I was a WAAC,” She told me sweetly.
Then:  “Do have a biscuit.”
Across the porcelain plate,
When I ask her please to tell me,
Her blue eyes open straight into mine.

“I was an air-raid warden
Up at Kittybrewster.
Oh the stars we had
In the blackout –
I wish you could have seen!
And the Northern Lights
Spread across the heavens
Night after night –
It was magical,
And so serene.

Of course there were bombs too
Falling from that same sky.
Once when morning finally dawned
I walked home over the Tarry Brig,
And every step was on shards of glass.
I didn’t know
If I still had a home
To come back to…”

The teapot she is holding
Quivers and stops in mid-air
Her eyes are focused
On a distance I cannot see;
Her hands are tense
With the memory of not knowing.

Then she snaps to attention
And finishes pouring.
“Well!  It was still standing,
As you can see for yourself.
And oh what a welcome
We gave one another.
Won’t you have a Viennese Whirl?
I do like a cup of tea
Of a forenoon.”

As I obligingly take another biscuit
I see
That only the gold pin at her throat
Is still shivering.

© Christine Laennec 2009.



  1. Lovely poem very touching it describes it all so well it almost feels as if you’re there!

  2. The story is clear. Very insightful.

  3. The nostalgic actions all through the poem take me to the memories of my own ones that make me sentemental.

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