Each Season a New Crop of Stones was Harvested
My grandfather grew acres and acres of stones,
granite, basalt, limestone. Each field,
when ploughed, produced a bumper crop
to build walls between his sons
and daughters, between himself and them.
My grandfather was a master builder
who passed on his craft to his children.
They quickly learned the art and laid
load-bearing and interlocking stones
using an A frame, string lines and crowbar.
My father fled over ditches and dykes,
paraded his skills on building sites.
He set up a company with mum
and laid the stones for my foundations.
My mother's contribution was glass.
Back then, I was so transparent.
Owen Gallagher is the author of four poetry collections (you can find them here); the most recent being Clydebuilt, published by Smokestack books in 2019. The Sikh Snowman, a children’s picture book, was published by Culture Matters in 2020 and his poem "Straight Up" was a Guardian poem of the week.