celebrating and creating our own LGBTQ+ history in honour of Sheila McWattie

day twenty eight



Three bed terrace, back garden.

A step up from the room and kitchen

Coal fire, freezing mornings.

Playing houses under the bed and under the stairs.

Mum hanging out of the upstairs window. The ice-cream van comes. Me and the girls from across the road, sitting on the front steps, swapping scraps. They tried to steal my best ones (Angels, the blue cat with the milk bottle).

Mum made them give them back.

First Lie.

First Thieving from me.

The beech trees down the road.

My oldest brother got appendicitis.

My favourite dolls Sandra (blonde hair, blue eyes) and Millie (black hair, brown eyes)

What a Great Man Churchill was!

Golly Wog?

Setting a place for my imaginary friend.

The African Xavier brother, “Will you give me your brother for God?”

Me “ No!”

Pennies for the black babies

My middle brother telling me tales of a gang kidnapping a young boy, tying him to a cross and torturing him.

Family card games, Sunday afternoons.



Home 2

Moving up the hill.

Four bed semi-detached, wrap around garden.

Underfloor heating.

“Please, please me” on the Dancette.

President Kennedy (another Great Man?) killed.

Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali.

My Dad sick in bed.

Mum and Dad fearing the Black Panthers.


Fields of grass, as tall as me.

The bing.

New friends.

The tree house.

An igloo.

No telly (my brothers were studying).

Endless days of summer.

Gardening, Sunday afternoons.

Dad says “And what are you doing for the cause, girl?”

I hide.

Creeping down the stairs to my first adult family party,

Mum on the piano,

Dad singing songs from the auld country.

Pint in hand.

Dad died when I was ten.



Home 8

I’ve fought for many causes since, Dad.

Mum didn’t approve.

Now I climb an even steeper hill in my beloved green city

To the splendid isolation of my garret, filled with wide blue, grey, lilac skies and light.

High winds rattle the windows and howl through the tunnels of tenements.

In the distance, the Kilpatrick Hills.


Only the most intrepid make it to my door.

Sometimes, I walk, sing, dance.

Now and again, I make a foray


But long only for the Return.

Mostly, I sit and nurse my pain and wrath and occasionally take it out on the telly.

Honesty is not very fashionable.

Global Theft and Violence are par for the course, as ever.

Hate is on the march, Again.

They’re Killing Our Mother.

I’ve got an emergency bag packed in case any of us survive.

I’m still hiding.




Cathy Welsh (not much over 60) Glasgow



Comments on: "day twenty eight" (2)

  1. brilliant beautiful transport through time, keen attention to minutest detail – fantastic finale to Febulous February 2019, thank you Cathy Welsh.

  2. A life in a few wonderful words. A Tardis of a poem. Love this Cathy Welsh.

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