Wee soul of five or six, indomitable, frail
on doorstep faces only neighbour
with camera in that street.
Neat plumb body in creaseless Brownie shirt, tie, skirt,
touchingly thin legs in socks, sandals,
faces forward, eyes looking warily sideways.
Wee soul, though your parents still live,
I can see you already know
how much that you want will never be.
from Sixteen Occasional Poems 1990-2000 (Morag McAlpine, 2000), © Alasdair Gray 2000, used by permission of the author