Northwords Now Issue 35

The FREE literary magazine of the North

An Saighdear

by Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul

Nuair a thill
an saighdear Gàidhealach
air ais dhachaigh on chogadh
bha dùil aig a h-uile duine
gun robh e fada marbh.

Thàinig e air a shocair fhèin,
gun ghuth,
tarsainn na mòintich,
suas seachad air Ceapal Bhrianain
agus a-null taobh
Loch an Dùin Mhòir
far an robh na bric cho pailt

agus na sheasamh àrd
air Creag na Cuthaige
chunnaic e am baile sgaoilte fodha,
ceò às na similearan
agus cuideigin a’ feadaireachd
fad às le cù mu shàilean.

Bha bhean
aig doras an taighe
le triùir chloinne mu casan
agus fear le bonaid ruadh
agus speal thairis a’ ghuailne
a’ coiseachd dhachaigh thuice

agus thionndaidh e air a shàilean
’s tha iad ag ràdh nach do thill e riamh
à Canada.
 
The Soldier

When the
Highland soldier
returned from the war
everyone believed
him to be long dead.

He came quietly,
unannounced,
walking across the moor,
up past Brianan’s Chapel
and over by
the Loch of the Big Fort
where the trout were plentiful

and standing high
on Cuckoo Rock
he saw the village spread below,
smoke from the chimneys
and someone whistling far off
with a dog at his heel.

His wife
was in the doorway
with three children about her feet
and a man with a brown bonnet
and a scythe over his shoulder
walking home towards her

so he turned on his heels
and they say he never came back
from Canada.