Faraway From Home

How I long to see Scotland again! I’ll perish in this Chinatown. Shrouded in smog so thick one can’t even discern his own feet from the ground! Even the sad neon lights have been snuffed. The whole city’s shut itself down and everyone I pass is with masks.

And the moon—poor soul!—smudged in the sky like a chalky mistake on a blackboard. A carcinogenic splutter from below—from man!—is emanating upwards: soaring into the ether and billowing, like a blanket over the land. Pitiable Mother Nature, we have besmirched her! She’s coughing now. God help her, what have we done! Please don’t be anything serious! It’ll pass I promise, just give it a couple of days. Soon we’ll all be able gaze once more, at a sky as clear as quartz. Soon, the hoarseness of your cough will give way, and in its place a determined tempest. And no sooner will you be blowing the murky vapours as though they were mere cobwebs on your bedpost!

Such are the ruminations that contend me; futile hopes and promises, useless reassurances—the likes! Scotland, O’ bonnie Scotland, with your dells and clean water; with your brooks and boughs and bespangled sky. Take me there, take me there once more! Let me smell again that Scottish verdure!


by Marcus Bechelli

(prompts: smog)

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