HOGMANAY IN TOMINTOUL
Snowing hard in Aviemore when you met the train
me getting warm on the bench-seat of a Land Rover.
You liking my jumper, all I remember a storm of colour
pulled-over kisses on a blizzardy bend, your Mum and Dad,
their hearts bright in a dark house – her sense of humour
on-target like yours, that slow-roast wild goose
like nothing I’d tasted before, or since.
I remember a lot of sex, drams, dancing
I remember snow-drifts, trees bending under white weight.
One morning branches let go of snow, sprang up,
your phone rang, I saw you slip felt you go.
Put myself on the Edinburgh train, full of the cold
(feistiness I now admire in my younger self)
not waiting for you to come back
from the phone-call outpost
where you blurred
while I burned.
Trains and east coast consonants,
Caledonian pines, wild geese, you the past
all still get to me when heavy snow’s forecast.
I remember the bad stuff
but today it’s sun
and seal breath,
green hairstreak butterflies
mind-blowing on gorse.