CWI July 2019 Winner

Job No. 1621

Gaynor Kane


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.