Document 1489

Like a Visitor

Author(s): Sheila Templeton

Copyright holder(s): Sheila Templeton


Your room's tidy.
You've left it
downie smoothed,
pillow sitting up
like a plump visitor.

I'm glad of this damp towel
crumpling a corner.

'Okay to have a bath,' you said.

Okay was you
sprawling careless limbs,
sloth draped
over the settee.
A cornflake mountain
drowned in milk.
Locust stripped fridge,
Dead Head Comics,
flicking T.V. channels,
driving me daft.
Not hearing
until I squatted down
into your eyeballs.

'What's that you're sayin' Mum ?'

I'm saying

That time you slammed
a fist into thin wall,
and you... wet newspaper,
chalky plaster mixed
in a jam jar,
tongue sticking out
in concentration,
covering the hole,

'Calm down Mother. It's FINE!'

Has left a space,
an empty place.
My hand finds it,
every time I climb
these stairs.

A bumpy, gritty patch,
unpainted and never
sanded smooth.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Like a Visitor. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Like a Visitor." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 14 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Like a Visitor," accessed 14 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1489

Like a Visitor


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2006
Word count 143

Text medium


Text publication details

Part of larger text
Contained in Slow Road Home (Sheila Templeton) / Running Threads (Jim Hughes, Rowena M Love, Michael Malone, Sheila Templeton)

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 1075
Forenames Sheila
Surname Templeton
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs upbringing Protestantism, now Eastern Yoga meditation practice
Occupation Retired Teacher
Place of birth Aberdeen
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Troon
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Railway Engineer / originally farm worker
Father's place of birth Stoneywood
Father's region of birth Aberdeen
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Doctors' Receptionist
Mother's place of birth Dyce
Mother's region of birth Aberdeen
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work, at home, writing
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At home, writing work mainly poetry