My dad as usual organised our places.
That insult of arrangement by our height,
not age. His pride at clustering his sons,
but with my little sister at the centre:
the family’s focal point. No wonder every
photograph from before her birth was blurred.
And mum watched, pleased by our MacKinnon eyes
but even she admitted we were Campbells.
We forced commanded smiles, and there it was:
that gap-tooth grin, that ancestral nothing
Uist dentists have returned to for generations.
What a long wait there was before the flash.

Niall Campbell

If you have any comments on this poem,
Niall Campbell would be pleased to hear from you.