A man came to take pictures today. To view oor streets and hames,
doorways and closes.
We hid in the backcourt and ca’doottae him. Watched in a hush
from the stair windae. Played chappie wi his camera,
Played keeking round the end o’ the block.
The wind blew through Da’stroosers on the poleas they copied
his walk to work. The wee yin’s dress swung, flitting like she was dancing in it. The apron rowsted and scolded, shaking its weathered strings.
When oor washing wis collected and the camera packed away, the views were taken, and our homes flattened. Folded.
Never seeing the photographs, we are still part o’ them. A blurry giggle in the sandstone. A whisper on the edge.
‘Flattened’ by Debbie Love won third prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.