Issue #8

When Summer Came

Five full months we’d worked together on sites,
Phil taught me how to drive the dumper truck.
At midday he’d bought me a pint of bitter,
told sex stories and about growing-up.
At sixteen, I followed in his size ten boot prints
like a scene-of-crime plaster cast.
He turned in for work one morning-head skinned,
by afternoon the sun had seared his neck red.
In unison, the slap of timber tamp
stipples over the thick, unset concrete.
We rest partway; he peels off his t-shirt,
SKREWDRIVER tattoos his off-white chest.
I can no longer look him in the eye
and from then on we see-saw out-of-step.   

Karl Riordan