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Poetry Pleases: My Bonny Lad

Margaret Smith Macabe writes of her "Bonny Lad", Wilfred Dobson, who died earlier this year. Margaret was not much more than a baby when she met Wilf who was 'walking out’ with Rene Bray, the daughter of her neighbour across the street. The pair of them hit it off at once and began a friendship that endured for the better part of sixty years and will – as Margaret writes in her poem – be resumed when eventually she follows on to that place where Wilf has gone.

Bonny Lad is an oft-used expression of endearment by Geordies, folk born near the banks of the Tyne in the environs of the city of Newcastle, Northumberland.

A second dad he was to me.
A kind, good man for all to see.
He made me smile, that Geordie man
When I was young, his biggest fan.

He listened, laughed; was there for me,
His smile would fill my heart with glee;
Carried me upon his shoulder;
Looked after me ‘til I was older.

We had such fun when I was small,
He’d pick me up when I did fall.
I loved him dearly when I was young,
I love him still, though he is gone.

"My Bonny Lass," I’d hear him say.
I’ll hear those words again someday
When my time comes. When that will be
You’ll take my hand, be there for me.

So, Bonny Lad, you close your eyes
And rest your head to hear these cries
Of those who loved you so.
We’re sorry that you had to go.


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