Daily Poem

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The Independent Online
Many Years After By Iain Crichton Smith She glanced at me over her shoulder like a faun.

A girlish glance of forty years ago.

Her face was withered, and her eyes were dull.

There was a cute devilishness in her gaze.

My heart was almost broken as I saw the short skirt whirl about her veined legs.

The sea is venomous and unmerciful.

I turned away. She would have seen my bald head like a rock that's pestered by the salty tide Iain Crichton Smith was born in 1925 on the island of Lewis. Educated at Aberdeen University, he became a teacher after national service. In 1977 he resigned towrite full time. He has received many awards and honours, including the OBE in 1980. His prev ious collections include `Selected Poems' (1985), `Collected Poems' (1992) and `Selected Stories' (1990), all published by Carcanet. This poem appears in his collection `Ends & Beginnings' published by Carcanet at £8.95. All this week, the Daily Poem wil l feature the theme of aging.