Faster than Fairies

by Frank McHugh

The little burnt hands of the saint
held on tight to the railway power lines
his charred and tatty remains flying out behind him
looking fresh from some Sicilian catacomb,
he was laughing and so was I.
When I looked across the aisle he was sitting
beside a girl wearing a coat and a crucifix
drawing crosses and butterflies
on her smooth forehead
smoke stains from his ancient robe
smirching her good coat
she turned and looked him in the eye
“Stop. I lost you a long time ago.”
He looked me with sad, pleading sockets,
I’ve done nothing wrong they said
and he stood as the train slowed
and got off. At Paisley.
I couldn’t meet her eye.
I don’t think it was his stop.

Frank McHugh writes poetry in both Scots and English as well as songs and plays. His poetry has been widely published, including in Acumen Poetry, New Writing Scotland, Gutter Magazine, The Glasgow Review of Books, SurVision and The Poet’s Republic. He was recently the featured Poet on the Scots Language Centre website. He is a teacher out of necessity, a poet out of compulsion and plays drums for fun. He lives on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.