Wigtown's Got Talent Winner Tracy Anne Harvey performed Betty and Leanne (Thru the Wa)

23 September 2018

Betty and Leanne (Thru the Wa) 

Leanne flitted in tae a flat in Hill Street.
It wis time tae staun oan her ain two feet.
She brichtened it up wi some fairy lights, a potted plant,
A battered couch she got fae the Saly Arm.

A chap yin day as she wis scrapin paper in the ha’,
She opened the door tae a voice, saying,
“If you need oanyhin, oanyhin at a, just ask,
I'm Betty an ah stay thru the wa”.

Two kindred spirits flung thegither,
Betty foun a dochter, Leanne foun a mither.

Leanne puit oot the wheelie bins,
Betty brocht them in.
Betty cut the grass,
Leanne raked it up when she was duin.
Leanne hung oot her washin,
Betty watched oot fir the rain.
Leanne went aff tae her wuirk
An Betty brocht it in again.

Leanne washed her windaes,
Betty swept the pads,
Betty fed the birds
An Leanne fed Betty’s cat.

Betty trimmed the hedge,
Leanne shovelled snaw.
Leanne got a caird at Christmas, signed,
Fae Betty thru the wa.

Leanne never let oan
When she heard Betty rantin.
Betty just tutted when Leanne
Hud been oot gallivantin.

Leanne never judged when Betty was three sheets tae the win,
Betty wuid tell the Provvy wummin,
That Leanne wisnae in.

Leanne cuid sleep at nicht,
Kennin Betty wisnae faur awa.
Well she could nae help it,
Fir she could hear her snorin thru the wa.

Betty wis a nippy sweetie, 
Cuid lash folk wi her caustic tongue.
Leanne wis cannae o others,
Aye hud been fae she wis young.

If baith hud scars fae the past, 
Neither gied the game away.
Betty didnae ask and Leanne didnae say.

Sittin roon the kitchen table drinkin tea,
Leanne didnae gee her ginger,
When Betty spoke tae folk,
That naebody else cuid see.

Yin Monday nicht, like every yin before,
Leanne lifted her fags an chapped Betty's door.

Opened it, caad oot Betty’s name,
Waited fir a retort, but the answer never came.

Leanne went ben the living room,
A sense o dread in belly,
Betty wis in her usual chair,
Her face lichtit up by the telly.

When the paramedics came they asked,
“Are you her dochter, is this yir maw?”,
She said “Naw, ah'm her neebor,
Ah'm Leanne fae thru the wa”.

An whin she phoned, they widnae tell her a thing,
She wis juist the neebor fae thru the wa,
She wisnae next o kin.

At first Leanne tried tae go oan lik afore,
But it became real when the coonsel came roon,
Boarded up Betty’s windaes,
Puit metal shutters oan the door.

Then the pain came rushin tae the fore,
Memories like wolves came knockin at the door.
Wan drink became two, became 3, became 4,
Up til late pacing up an doon the floor.

An when she woke in the wee hours,
Huggin her knees,
Listenin tae the wind howlin in the eaves,
She bit oan her nails, chewed oan her hair,
Imaginin every creak,
Wis his fuitstep oan the stair.

The wind rattled thru the letterbox,
Making the curtains blaw.
Leanne wis scared and aw alone,
An nae Betty thru the wa.

Yin day, Leanne pu’ud the curtain aside,
Tae see a caur pu’ud up oot side.
A lassie takin a set o keys fae oot her bag,
Opening the gate an walking up the pad.

Leanne juist stood there,
Her thochts aw a fankle,
Wringin her haunds,
Betty's cat wyndin roun her ankles.

She didnae want tae seem lik the neebor fae hell.
Didnae want the lassie tae hink,
She couldnae keep hirsel tae hirsel.

Finding the courage she opened the door,
An smiled fae the ha’,
“If you need oanyhin, oanyhin at a’,
Juist ask, ah'm Leanne, an ah stay thru’ the wa.”

Copyright Tracy Anne Harvey