South Street Arbroath
Every day is laundry day on South Street.
White cotton flat sheets, stone-washed jeans; yesterday’s pink and yellow striped knickers
Dip and duck like multi-coloured bunting.
Children climb up from the beach
Where the sand hems the grassy slope. Plastic sandcastles filled with shells; razors
And limpets, purple mussels speckled with shingle, and a wee deid crab,
Protected inside a bleached Hula Hoop bag, Crumpled.
The children’s laughter rips through the flapping blankets as they zigzag,
dodging Mrs Campbell’s frilly knickers that joyride on the briny wind.
The postman waves.
He’s sinking useless junk mail through the rusty red letterboxes of
the fisherman’s cottages. Unashamed.
A peg pings and a denim leg kicks the sky, snapping the wind as it buckles around a
Heaven rests like burning oil on the ocean.
A wrinkled man with leather lugs sits outside number twenty-five,
His eyes a hazy mist of blue sea, and cataracts.
He picks up his thick wooden board, red with blood and guts,
A deid head of a deid haddock with deid
Eyes. He wipes his knife clean on a Pizza Hut flyer.
This poem was first published by Artist Moira Buchanan in her art exhibition ‘All Washed up’. You can follow Moira Buchanan on Facebook by clicking this link or visit her website.