Posted in POETRY

Carving My Name With a Rusty Nail

It snagged ma Wham Choose Life t-shirt,

It gripped it and ripped it –

tae a hole the size of a ten bob bit


an now am dead.

Frozen stiff and waitin.

Waitin for ma name tae trumpet oot the front door


Stress, unstress.


Five seconds an coontin –

am  hunched up wae the fear,

Screwin up ma face liked I’ve sooked a soor ploom .

Oxters sweatin. Silence.


Investigate the culprit –

A rusty orange nail,

the size of ma pinkie

thats aw,


and its pokin right oot

oh the rotten gate post

where the gate used tae hing.

‘In the name eh the wee man!’


Bloomin nail!

waving a piece of ma Choose Life t-shirt;

surrendering itself.


I grip its flat heed – burl it roond

and roond and roond wi ma finger

Until it wobbles and falls oot,

and half the gate post crumbles like cheese.


I sit oan the pavement,

its roastin hot and stingin ma bum cheeks.

I dig the spear end of ma new nail-

jab in intae the groond – gouging and

stabbin, stabbin an



Til I make a wee hole,

a dot –

the dot of an i-

I guess


I find a boulder by the kerb;

yin fae the auld railway,

that stinks like rotten egg when you rub twa together.


I point the nail


and wack its hat –

tap tap tap

an rip

a little line  –

a scar.

A beginning.


My line is slick.

I add two kicks

and join them up and end up with a k


Then finish off my starting dot with a little leg and i.

The curve of r is tricky,

but a concentrating eye to the groond

And a blistered elbow




I curl out its tongue.


S is looking awfy jaggy,

an inside oot z, maybeeeee ?


But t is looking tight,

an arm

a leg

but without a curly foot,


and y


is a lazy t,

layin back and sunbathing;

burning its bum on the pavement.


I’m not doing a full stop



Writer and Poet. MLitt Creative Writing BA Hons English Literature

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