Jackie Kay by Claudia Alonso (2015)

Claudia Alonso, Jackie Kay, 2015. Digital Photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.

‘Mirror’ – weekly poem by Chancellor Jackie Kay CBE

Professor Jackie Kay CBE, University Chancellor and Scots Makar, is sharing a series of poems with colleagues, students and members of the public, reflecting on the current period of uncertainty that we are in.

Jackie’s poem ‘Mirror’ considers that for many people living alone in lockdown, the only company that they might have had during this time is a mirror. The poem also sees Jackie reflect on the fact that we might not want to go back to certain things from our ‘old lives’ once lockdown ends. 


I am not going back, I said to myself

One day of the days last week,

Which day I can’t say for sure.

I said it out loud to the lone mirror,

The mirror that’s been my listening ear.

Not going back; this time a whisper in my ear

These days have held up a strange mirror.

I can’t: this much I know for sure,

As sure as the day slides into a week.

I’ll find a way, I promise myself.


Copyright Jackie Kay. Reprinted with kind permission from the author. 

June 2020

Don’t miss Jackie’s new weekly series of online literary and musical performances. ‘Makar to Makar’ will showcase a line-up of established talent and emerging voices from Scotland and around the world.

Follow Jackie on Twitter @JackieKayPoet to hear a new poem every Sunday.