George Oliver's story – Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration

Duty free

in a desperate diaspora,
all over the world
Clearing the land, clearing its throat.

as if it had a sheep stuck in its tonsils,
clogged with wool, washes
down with whisky.

Dark little island, dark little
half of an island:
lochs and glens and leaking castles,

rain in August, rain in July,
kilts and umbrellas the national dress.
Cheers for a football team

that always loses.
Stuck on top of England like a wart.
Old Scotia's glory – and me

an unregenerate prodigal,
passing through the airport
duty free.