Poem — Alex Scobie

 

Grandfather

 

Gentle keeper of bees, with walrus
Moustache stained by pipe smoke;

Falkirk miner, half-blind,
Burrowing and blasting shafts

Through the Carboniferous Age,
Illuminating with his Davy lamp

Friezes of centipedes and ferns,
Dead a million years ago,

Glimpsed and obliterated
In the swing of a pick.

I met him in the Summer of ’48
When, unblinking, he outstared

The midday sun.

Alex Scobie

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