Matt Macdonald: Two poems


she folded her coat, let it
balance on her bag
in the chair beside her
across the table
he smiled, stroked
the back of her hand
Glasgow lay behind them
the confusion of its streets
forgotten for this happy train

in the future, she will tell her
children, that this was the day
she realised she wanted to marry him
the day of the red balloon,
the unplanned fish supper, and messy fingers
watching seals skulk around the
shallows in the harbour
he had promised her they would
walk along the sand, but it was
still Scotland, even with the sun
so, they huddled on the promenade
singing old folks songs, without guitars

later, as they walked along the town
watching the colourful houses pass by
each little island in a sea of everything else
that it couldn’t understand, from Warsaw
to Tiannamen, Iron Curtain to Iron Lady
she knew the world was getting too large to hold onto
Elizabeth gave thanks, she could hold onto him


It didn’t happen this way
but because I always believed in magic
whenever I remember our first time
I embellish it a little

That night, despite the stars and moon,
so unlike each other, like we still were,
your room was filled with darkness
a false night emerging from our bones
with the memories of our shared north
a night we hid in, protected naked skin
like we were the secret to magnetism
we were full of unexpected turns, fingers
tantalisingly cold against our skin
skin we now shared, palms to backs

when we danced, before, in the evening
when the night had not yet crept around us
falling asleep like your hand in mine,
I held you like you were glass, breakable
like I could burn you if I wasn’t careful
you left your head on my shoulder
for longer than I expected and it felt
like you wanted to be there…which was new
you held me like I might be fictional
melting away too quickly for you to cope with
and we were worried, without saying it,
until we kissed, and there was no more thinking

the lilacs, brought as a last minute gift,
sat on your bedside table for days
while I still felt your fingerprints on my palm

Copyright © Matt Macdonald 2014

Matt Macdonald is an Edinburgh based poet, who performs across the Central Belt. He is currently in preparation for his first solo show in the Free Fringe.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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