Simon Kempston
  1. Callum -:-- / 5:51

Callum would shake the mud off his boots, fifteen stone of Highland brute.
Two decades worked on the West Coast line, every waking hour he’d spend outside.

When he visited the city, he saw eyes full of pity, which disturbed him.
So he’d remain in the country, where he’d always wanted to be, and had been.

His mother said Callum, ‘why can’t you see, there’s a world outside this village.’
But Callum was not one to explore, nor did he welcome change.

Now Callum was no lothario, but sometimes for a dram he’d go.
One time he met a Plockton lass, they would sit for hours upon the grass.

He barely spoke at all, and he had no wherewithal, she said.
He thought she was his sweetheart, but she was secretly cheating on him.

His mother said Callum, don’t you worry, many a man has lost love.
What’s for you won’t go by you, now say your prayers to the good lord above.

But he soon became a recluse, outside work he never needed an excuse,
To keep his own company, free from the judging community.

At the end of each working day, he would come home and pray, as his mother taught him to.
But he found no happiness, only loneliness, no matter what he’d do.

His mother said Callum, you make me proud, but what you really need is a wife,
But Callum had had his fill of women, and wished to live a solitary life.

His mother began to deteriorate, his lack of a woman, she’d berate,
So he ceased to visit her at all, and when it came to her funeral,

He brought only a wreath, which he nearly didn’t leave, any way.
When he caught sight of his ex, he lost all self-respect, and stepped away.

His mother was the only one who he felt understood him,
Her untimely demise only heightened his confusion.

Now Callum ripped the buttons from his coat, sat by the fire, warmed his throat.

With a small drop of whisky he washed down what could have been,
The cliff edge beckoned, as the sky blackened, was this the ultimate sin?