Guest Poem by Owen Gallagher

Owen Gallagher is a working-class writer, born in Gorbals, Glasgow. He left school at 15 and worked in factories and on building sites, also as a street-sweeper and bus conductor. His recent publication is: Clydebuilt, Smokestack Books, England, 2119. Shortlisted for The Scottish Poetry Book of The Year, 2021.

‘And Yourself?’

‘Donegal,’ I say.

I see the stone and oak pier,
Inishboffin, Inishdooey and Tory Island,
seals sunbathing on the sandbanks,
the sky, blue as a Greek door.

I imagine you carrying me, in a hold-all
across the dunes to Falcarragh Strand,
and then clutching my urn tight,
you, my love, shake my ashes out

onto the clear icy water.
I am swept out and back, bits of me
here and there, until I’m spread
across the bay, floating, waving.

‘Fine,’ you say.