Light Shining in Lanarkshire
i.m. Keir Hardie (1856–1915)
Knock, knock! The baker’s boy, sharp as clocks back,
Ear to the pithead’s cogs – upturned prams spun
In puddles. By ten, he melts in with clogged ranks,
Resurfacing as day-shadows cobbling home to tubs.
His pit-lamp halos pin-scratched Pitman in lit
Anticlines. Cage-clattered up the strata on a carbon
Ribbon to paper and Party. Years on, in the after-
Damp of Parliament’s scalds, signs his last letter under
Inked portcullis; packs up his books, kit and cough;
Ebbs back to shadow. But his shadow casts a light.
Alan Morrison © 2015
Taken from A Tapestry of Absent Sitters (Waterloo Press, 2009)