Today is World Poetry Day, and the day our International Women’s March Fortnight comes to its end. Accordingly, we would like to conclude our series with a second poem by Kathryn Metcalfe, ‘Liberty’, which draws on her family’s transatlantic history of migration.

By publishing a poem a day for this March fortnight, our goal was to give local women writers a platform for sharing their writing, and bringing them to your attention. We hope that you’ve enjoyed them.

Finally, we would live to thank the Scottish Writers’ Centre for their contribution to this series and for hosting the Creative Writing Showcase. Last but not least, thanks to Kathryn Meltcalfe, Mairi Murphy, Louise Turner, Sandra Whitnell, Alex Hackett, Angie Spoto, Carly Brown, Maria Sledmere, and Carolyn Jess-Cooke for their wonderful texts!

New York;

a mere stride away

across the water.

20th & 21st March Kathryn Metcalfe by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers' Centre
Kahtryn Meltcafe by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers’ Centre

‘Liberty’ by Kathryn Metcalfe

She stands

arm raised aloft,

a concerned mother

ushering the ships

into the bay.

Holding the sky to ransom.


New York;

a mere stride away

across the water.


That statue;

you will dream of

That statue.

in the fresh bedroom

of a brownstone


huddling beneath

a patched home made

quilt, muffling

those stern footsteps,

tramping along streets.

Gimlet eyes piercing

wall and plaster.


As daylight dapples

through the windows

you appease her.

Draped in bedsheets,

a cardboard halo

jammed over copper hair

while your brother skims

paper boats across the

dark wooden floor.


Growing bolder, you stay

awake each night.

Cheek resting on the sill

listening to the motor

horns in the distance,

lulled by the chorus of

voices drifting

up from the side walk,

realising the sleepless city warded

off the curious stone goddess,

you sleep.





Years later you will raise

an arm, strong and slim

waving acknowledgment,

on a ship returning to


Not intended to be goodbye


Ships sailing back to America

will never take you.

Marooned, motherless, your

father invalided,

You learn to shorten your steps

along toy town streets.

Make do with a jam factory

job and everything shutting

at tea time.


Where the statues of Men

stand, content in their

Victorian Philanthropy,

contented in the rain.


Kathryn Metcalfe has been published in anthologies and magazines, she is one of the ‘Mill Girl Poets’ whose show ‘Mill Girls’ On Tour’ about the lives and history of the female workers in the Paisley Thread Mills told through poetry, spoken word and song has featured in the West End Festival and lately at the Edinburgh Fringe. She set up, runs and hosts a monthly Open Mic for poets and spoken word artists and musicians in a Paisley coffee shop.



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