The smell of shoe polish
The scent of teenage Sunday mornings.
Mum off to club-cleaning work
Dad peels potatoes, cuts veg
Mixes the batter for the Yorkshires
Singing the same songs
‘Don’t laugh at me’, ‘Secret Love’
His life in lyrics.
One sister rises, goes out,
Other sister comes home, goes to bed,
While I get the box from the cupboard
And shine the shoes
Applying the Cherry Blossom with one brush
Working it in with another
Before bringing out the shine
With a square of thick velvet.
A shine that reflects like a mirror
A shine I can see my young face in.
Originally a short-story writer, Derek discovered poetry by accident in 2010 after enrolling for the wrong class at Glasgow Uni. Since then he’s hardly written anything else. A regular on the ‘live’ poetry circuit, he performs monthly at The Rio Café and anywhere else that will give him a stage, and has headlined at The Rio and Tchai Ovna. He is a director of the Scottish Writers’ Centre and is currently studying for the MLitt.
Photo credit: Angie Spoto