His bag emptier with every street.
Socks sagged around his ankles.
The lever in, slip, release
over and over.
Odd numbers, even numbers, rusty
hinges. Wind battered gates that
knocked their whole lives. Seeing
the sun spread itself over his daily
plot. The snip of a latch, clock turn
handle, heave the hinge-less, walk
through the gate-less, unbolt
the formal. Listening to the barking
and cawing, the snap of car lock.
Taking it all in his stride, the passing
of the unknown. Wearing away
his years until he himself slips
The perps were our line
the joint between bricks, that
buttering of two faces, softening
the wall. Making us believe
things were not as hard as they seemed.
Flemish Bond, English Bond, Stretcher
Bond, some bricks halved, others
in wait like a waiting foot. The weight
of it all, building before us.
Those years when time is of no height.
And walls had no theme, other than
something to clamber over.
We ignored the perps, seeing them
as a weakness. A scoop with a trowel,
tap with the butt end, dink with the edge,
not realising that for every brick we laid
corners came into our lives, and shadows
and shadows, and shadows.
Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. He is an aspiring writer who has his first collection by futurecycle in 2018.