Frank McHugh

Universal indicator of right, wrong,
good, bad, life or death. Of course,
no-one nowadays can make a decision
so the digit wavers, not committing.

Hitch-hiker’s appeal, texter, gamer,
licked and sticked to seal the deal:
pudding-prodder, opposable, apposite
gripper of handlebars and pushchairs,
the more rounded of the brothers,
Peter’s apostle, pollex, a page-turner.

The mighty thumb has replaced conversation between
my son, growing and spreading like a rhizome
and the deepening clay of his father.
I’m fine. I’m not hurt. I’ve got enough money.
I love you.
Then there’s poor Paul, whose lost boy
found a tree that took him
all the way to the gates of heaven
so he cranes and waits to see his thumbs-up
but all that comes is a quiet, calming
‘I’m up here, Dad.’

Frank McHugh writes poetry in both Scots and English as well as songs and plays. His poetry has been widely published, including in Acumen Poetry, New Writing Scotland, Gutter Magazine, The Glasgow Review of Books, SurVision and The Poet’s Republic. He was recently the featured Poet on the Scots Language Centre website. He is a teacher out of necessity, a poet out of compulsion and plays drums for fun. He lives on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.