A Poem by Maggie Mackay


Ode to my Dad


Tom’s warmest smile
is the sun at its prime.
He swaggers in his baggy trousers,
pipe smoke drifting in whirls
as he hums pitch imperfect.
His satin smooth fingers tap the beat.

Tom’s a firebrand,
risking quicksand;
never the doubting kind.

Saturday mornings,
the bell sings as he steps
into the New Town Bookshop,
slips down hushed aisles
skims, searches, dreams.
Eat your heart out, Bertrand Russell.

Sunday afternoons,
seated with quiet son, chatty daughter,
sharing rainy matinees,
his eyes brim milk-moist,
skin mopped dry with a crumpled hankie.

Weekdays, he hugs Gran, strokes Tweed,
waves cheerio, twice,
brings Nessie wildflowers on a whim;
her family man, our gentle man.


Maggie Mackay’s pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’ (2018) is published by Picaroon Poetry and her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’, Kelsay Books, is available now. In 2020 she was awarded a place in the Poetry Archive’s WordView permanent collection. She reviews poetry pamphlets at https://sphinxreview.co.uk (Happenstance Press) and loves to daydream with a dram.

Maggie’s Dad, Tom

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