Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

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A Serious Ailment

by Jim Hayes

While on a tour in Scotland, Tony Blair
visits a hospital ward; to his surprise
no person there seems sick or in need of care.
In fact, a brawny patient stands and cries:

“Fair fa your honest sonsie face
Great chieftan o’ the puddin race
aboon them a’ you take your place
painch, tripe or thairm,
as langs my airm.”

So taken aback he cannot say a thing,
Blair moves on and hears the next one sing:

“Some hae meat and canna eat,
and some wad eat that want it,
but we hae meat and we can eat
so let the Lord be thankit.”

The PM finds this babble most confusing
especially when the next bed starts abusing:

“Wee sleekit, cowerin, timorous beastie
thou needna start awa sae hastie,
wi bickerin brattle.”

Blair turns and asks the doctors; “Am I in
a mental hospital?” With one accord.
the docs reply. “It’s nay loony bin,
nay at a’, this is the serious Burns ward.”

Jim Hayes has appeared in First Things, Iambs and Trochees and various on-line publications; he has been a featured poet in Light Quarterly and won the Willard Espy award for Light Verse.  His first collection The Bad Habits of Little Boys, illustrated by Janet Kenny, will be published shortly by Clock & Rose Press.