The One O’clock Gun by Sally Evans

We are residents of Edinburgh
walking down Princes Street,
on the Bridges, the New Town or Old
and we hardly lose our stride
in the lunch-time energy,
doors swinging, cafes and booths,
the floral clock unreliable,
no longer planted with flowers
by the stone steps down to the gardens
where we, true Edinburghers,
may be constrained by the hours,
but the gun’s boom, noisy and sudden
worries us not. We look
at our watches quickly from habit,
an old proof of accuracy
as this signal to shipping
goes off and the white ball falls
on the yard-arm on Calton Hill
for the sailors along the firth
as a guide to the tides.
We know the gun, its daily
obstinacy, we carry on
our conversations around it.
Only the new arrival
remarks on it, the one
who noticed her taxi driver
from Waverley Station was Scottish.
BOOM THUD. What was that?
It’s our one o’clock gun.

Sally Evans lives in Scotland and has Welsh connections. She has had several books of poems published including Poetic Adventures in Scotland (2014) and the Bees (2008).

Sally Evans lives in Scotland and has Welsh connections. She has had several books of poems published including Poetic Adventures in Scotland (2014) and the Bees (2008).

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