Stanza three

Out in the English soil, my old words/ buried themselves
A photo of money in a hole in the ground
Kay suggests her Scottish words are 'buried' in the ground and need to be found again.

The opening line is significant, as the positioning of the word "out" at the beginning of the line emphasises her sense of detachment. In this "soil" her words metaphorically "buried themselves". This continues the image of the words as living things. The words are not passive, they were active in burying themselves. This suggests they are lying hidden rather than being completely lost - they just need to be found again. They could be compared to treasure, or even seeds or plants waiting to regrow, forcing her now to dig into the darkness of her memory to retrieve them.

It made my mother’s blood boil,/ I cried one day with the wrong sound in my mouth.

There are strong emotions in this stanza: her mother's anger and her own despair. The shorter plosive 'b' sound recalls the Scottish words. Possibly "blood boil" is something the mother has said in response to the change in her daughter’s speech. The mother has retained her Scottish words and phrases.

When Kay tells us about crying, it could be seen as a child’s response to being told off by her mother. It also suggests sorrow as she realises that what she has lost. "I cried one day with the wrong sound in my mouth." Here "wrong sound" evokes a child-like tone as if she’d made a mistake like a young girl; it also implies that the sound feels wrong to her.

I wanted them back; I wanted my old accent back,/ my old tongue

The repetition here maintains the child-like tone and emphasises her desire to return to her roots.

Kay ends the poem by using the words she has lost, perhaps in an attempt to revive them. The minor sentences "My dour soor Scottish tongue. Sing-songy" list some of the defining aspects of the Scots words – their evocation of emotion and their lilting sounds. The final line "I wanted to gie it laldie" suggests she wants to do this with enthusiasm and to the best of her ability. The phrase, again in italics, suggesting it is spoken, conveys the energy and spirit which Kay implies is lacking in her new accent.