Somewhere in my mind, at my shoulder
he’s still there; that pause he takes
on the edge of a rocky path
forcing itself up the grim slap
of a wintry mountain.
His jacket’s too big, woollen,
twenty years out of fashion
a man’s jacket – bleached grey
like the sky and the low clouds.
He’s going to be tall, but his body
still has that soft outline
that tender plumpness
boys have – just before they grow.
His mother climbs ahead of him
holding tight to a little one.
It’s sleeting on their bundled lives.
He stops, looks back at what’s below
whatever is left. Even from this distance,
of camera lens – and the miles between –
I can see, more clearly than I’d choose,
he hates that he is crying.
Copyright © Sheila Templeton 2014
Sheila Templeton comes originally from Aberdeenshire…a ‘Buchan quine’, so writes in both Scots and English. Her poetry collections are Slow Road Home (2004 Makar Press); Digging for Light (2011 New Voices Press); Tender is the North (2013 Red Squirrel Press). Her poetry prizes include winning the McCash Scots Language Competition and the McLellan Poetry Competition. She is also a past Makar of the Federation of Writers Scotland.