Job No. 1621
Once, a carpenter on the Canberra.
Now, Rheumatoid anchored aground for years.
Got thrown off after a week, you said –
caught having tea and a fag. Shipped to a tanker,
as your own boss you skipped off early
on Fridays to smooth talk girls and dance.
I asked what you’d crafted?
You rubbed your face, buying time,
wiped cheeks veined in seaweed purple
with barnacle knuckles. I offered suggestions:
A mahogany cabinet with dovetails?
An oak bar with carved scrolls, acorns, leaves?
No, you laughed, the porthole edgings.
I Googled terms: King stud, appeared –
(wood either side of window) I pictured you
Elvis-like, easy come easy go, with a
Tony Curtis curl. The, now white, wave shook.
You said, you’d trimmed them with cripples.