This poem is for Mrs Beaton who was my S2 English teacher, Firrhill High School, Edinburgh:


As a young child
I learned to write backwards
and could sleep
standing up!

For these skills
I was backwardly celebrated!

As a wee lad
I could see and feel
what others could not.
This sensitivity I kept to myself.
Catriona: I didn’t want the world to get me wrong!

Only later on in life
did I realise I had Ziggy

Now a retired man
I still think backwards!
But I can no longer sleep –
not even when recumbent!

But in the night sky
flying comets will occasionally blaze by:
Wow, the brilliance of stardust!


Mayflies, page 208, by Andrew O’Hagan:

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