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The Duke's Hat

Where’s the Duke’s hat?
First asked the weans in toun.
Where’s the Duke’s hat?
Squinting up at the statues head, where a traffic cone normally sat.
Seeming rather dour without his gallus crown, the bronzed Iron-Duke seemed to wear a frown.
He’d mastered Napoleon and Parliament’s speech,
But his lanky horse and plinth couldn’t keep him safe from canny folks reach.

“Och well, we’ll just grab another!” and the people searched around for a new traffic cone bunnet.
They looked in the roads but the workies were awry; their cones had vanished anawl, and they couldn’t lay tarmac with all the motors careering by.
They checked the parks and haughs, the vennels and wynds. But there were no makeshift goals or dookits to find.
Out of all the litter on the streets, in the burns and the Clyde, there was not one flitted cone to be found in a close or a hide.
So the folks gathered outside the City Chambers, to moot an urgent summit.

The Provost and polis were feart of a rammy breaking out.
For the traffic cone tammy disappearing’s in a rout.
Would tanks be needed in once again in George Square?
The crabbit crowd bealing from this sordid affair.

But just then, with glaikit surprise.
Everyone noticed the gloaming glint, on the surrounding statues of the square
Upon each bronze napper was now a tangerine cone.
From James Watt to William Gladstone.

Phone’s started to ping and the news spread through scunnered blethering and havering.
This revolution was live, and now also televised.
The fashion had spread well yont the braes of the Clyde.

In Paris, The Thinker still toils, crouched over his lap.
But is now assisted, by a new traffic cone thinking cap.

In Florence, Michelangelo’s David faces a giant, but no longer alone.
His head now graced with a mighty traffic cone.

The Great Sphinx of Giza, guarding the pyramids for millennia.
Standing firm against the shifting sands and blazing sun.
Now rewarded with the gift of her own many cap cones.
So as not to be outdone.

In New York, the Statue of Liberty donned orange pokes on the tips of her high crown;
Shoogling in the breeze.
And now held aloft a giant one, as she gazed out toward the seas.

The Terracotta Army, encamped outside Xi’an.
Watching over the Emperor, cooried in his tomb.
But now his army’s muster has finally came to plan.
The stretching ranks seeming like a glowing field in bloom.
A sight to put their enemies in a fluster;
A luminous cone equipped to each and every man.

So keep in mind the statues in every neuk; aw air the world they span
Though they bear the driech and cold and have no need for scran.
But time tests even their mettle, and can manifest resent.
Removed, cast down, weathered or rusted;
From once being held so braw.
The image of their once formed past, emerges into their envious dissent.
So when stoatin by, have a keek, and reflect on what you’ve saw.

About this poem

In the city of Glasgow, there is a equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington (of Waterloo fame). It is an emblematic tradition of the city that a traffic cone is humorously placed on the statues head at all times. This poem was written with the intention of an illustrated children's book. Feedback would be appreciated.

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Written on May 18, 2022

Submitted on May 18, 2022

2:49 min read

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