Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 275: Leith Walk

The Foot of the Walk

He is an old skeleton of a man. Stranded somewhere in his sixties. Stubble tough as sandpaper. Stubble cement grey. His eyes bloodshot and ghosted like a man who has been taken over. He whispers to himself.

He carries a bottle of wine haphazardly under his arm right which spills as he tries to settle it. A hat sits crookedly on his head. His short coat is dirtied by grease and sick mess. His trousers hang loosely around his waist. By all accounts one gone quite mad.

He walks stiffly like a boy who has defecated in his trousers. This is no simile; a sewage leak has stained through and dribbles down his right leg. He mutters to himself.

At the junction he edges awkwardly round the corner. We cross the road, walking farther into our lives and further away from his; averting our eyes from the suns glare.

Colin McGuire

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