Maggie Shawlie

Written by: Liz Walsh

I can remember the woman wrapped in a black shawl against the wind
Her face wrinkled with age and sorrow
Her bag of cockles held firm – a supper for the family coldly waiting      
Hard poverty her story and her plight

We called her ‘Maggie Shawlie’ and thought her strange
She was just part of the story of our town
We did not greet her nor she us – her dignity 
Her stance kept her strong – as she gazed at our shop-bought socks
And healthy faces - our assumption of a life she could never have.

She lived in a tiny cottage off just the main street – a hovel 
If the truth be known.  Her husband died ten years after they were married.
Maggie was left to cope all on her own – grief and sadness
Overtook her - but she was stalwart – all joy gone –
 She was determined to survive