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Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
My father's long fingers smooth
over the aged scratchy pleats.
The Kilt is magnificent. It has the
fleeting beauty that only a well
kept antique has, that warm
firelight glow of the past.
It has a few scuffs and holes,
but the somber reds and greens of
clan Mackintoish have settled into
the cloth and darkened pleasantly.
The kilt is always the most important detail,
it has passed from grandfather down,
and it looks as handsome now
as in the sepia photographs on our shelves.
The dirks black ornate hilt rests
heavily against his hip, and the
belt is cinched tightly to hold it up.
you can practically hear bagpipes
My grandfather's dark green cotton socks
sit near the top of my father's calf
and he leans over to adjust the frills.
And as his tan wrinkled brow furrows
in concentration, and his admittedly
attractive white whiskers scrape
across his collar, and the image
nears completion, the drum beats louder.
Reaching up from the ancient past
and grasping the future in tradition,
the ghosts of ancestors enter his poise,
and he suddenly appears less like
my father and takes on the swagger
of a cocky fisherman, of pirate.
He is swinging swords
and playing pipes, and cobbling, and
setting stones upright in ancient
forgotten ritual, and tossing cabers.
I know looking at him now,
what my own ghosts will be
when my time comes.

— The End —