Across a crowded street, I saw my friend
And hailed him, but he turned away.
Still snubbed, I asked him later why.
“My twin lives there,” he laughed,
Produced a picture: mirror image men
Flanked their smaller, prouder mother.
“That one’s me and that one’s him.”
He frowned,
“Or is it the other way around?”


At university, I was friends with a lovely lad who had an identical twin. I never met his twin, but I do remember commenting upon seeing a photo of the two of them that I couldn’t tell who was who. And he told me once about a time someone thought he’d blanked them in the street and it turned out they’d been waving frantically at his twin, who has no idea who they were.

A few years ago, I wrote three poems on the subject of ‘images’ for a poetry masterclass held in my old university town. I think the connection must have made me think back to these stories. Twins was subsequently published in Poetry Scotland magazine.