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Today, in honour of the date, I have decided to post up a ‘conventional’ poem.

I don’t like the title I gave it, but it is the one I wrote when I was 18; four days after the horror at Dunblane Primary School.

The children and teacher that died were much more than ‘victims’, in life.  The survivors are too.

There are many clichés I could use when speaking of that day, but I will say that it moved me then – and goes even deeper now I have children.  The twentieth anniversary falling last year, when Eldest was in P1, was particularly poignant.

[I tried hard not to think about how vulnerable our schools still need to be in order to make them welcoming places – I tried not to cry as I waved my child into his classroom the next day and had to pass the big windows of the gym hall to reach the school gates.]

But we do not (and did not) live in Dunblane.

Any empathy I can muster is absolutely a drop in the ocean compared to the grief and continual heartache those families have, I am well aware of that; and I wish I could find the words to comfort them every day they have to live with the aftermath of 1996. 

They must never be forgotten. I admire the spirit and poise the community of Dunblane have shown, and they are in my thoughts often.


Parent of a Victim


She can stare out her window

And watch the panto.

The playing young kids that



She wonders how others

Remember to breathe,

Without remembering, too,

What happened.


The pillows are wet

With the huge sorrow tears –

It won’t make the second hand



She could smile and tell them all

That she’s okay, but it is

All a farce

It won’t last.


No matter how busy,

No matter how rich,

No matter how ‘fulfilled’ –

It gapes:


The hole, where that bonny wee

Lassie was held

In the heart; now lying

In silent ground.


Living for others, her window is smashed;

The splinters jab her memory.

That fateful Wednesday, 1996.

She’ll never forget March 13th.




The messy type-up I have kept from my electric typewriter days. My spelling has really benefited from advances in  technology!


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