Jackie Kay salutes chemists, volunteers, carers, delivery workers, and those in the food supply chain in the work, titled Essential.
She described it as a “huge, big, thank you” to everyone providing frontline services and a video of her reading it is available on Scottish Government social media channels.
The poem is as follows:
Up, doon, the length of our land –
Aberfeldy, Ardnamurchan –
There’s uplift, sharing; pass the baton!
A frontline forming, hand to fierce hand.
Shopfront workers, doon the aisle;
New-era queues metres apart.
The chemist’s prescription warms the heart.
Delivery folk vanish, ghost a smile.
Volunteers at the local food bank…
Shy half-moon in a clear Scots’ sky.
We leave with tins, groceries, goodbyes…
Clap in the gloaming when we say our Thanks.
And the sky greets with stars
And the bold birds sing
As we clink in our links in the Kindness line;
Holding absent hands for Auld Lang Syne.