The two grey men sitting

The two grey men sitting on the park bench
look away from one another
across the scuffled snow.
Both have hats, neither wears gloves.
Scarves are tucked into overcoats.

Their hands must be cold
and their feet too in the thin leather shoes.

Then they turn and look towards each other;
their eyes smile
and their fingers touch.
The ice-blue air is suddenly less bitter.

Tomorrow they will be here again.

Bus stop, early Saturday afternoon

The bus stop is crowded this afternoon. Large men in kilts and rugby shirts wait patiently, beardedly. “Is it going to say dry?” “Aye,I think so. But there’s the cold coming.” They look west.

The couple with the dog in a coat are less patient. He is shaking his head like a cartoon character; she rests her gloved hand on his raincoated arm. “It’s getting colder, isn’t it?” “We wouldn’t be feeling it if we were on the bus.”

A robin fluttery-swoops down towards the shelter then sees the dog and banks away. The bus arrives. It does not look as though there will be room for everyone.

Sleeping with the windows open (Biography Part 1)

Bobby was the kind of boy who slept with the windows open, come hail or ice or snow. On holidays abroad he slept in the wine cellar. His parents took him to see doctors but they could find no fever; he just functioned better in the cold. When he was a teenager he worried about global warming but in Scotland that only seemed to mean more rain and snow. His family and friends thought he would become an Arctic explorer or an ice cream seller; some even had a sweepstake on the job he – or his temperature – would choose. But in the end the universe showed it had a sense of humour. From the day he picked up his first guitar, it was clear – he would be in a band, the coolest band in town.