The Caretaker

Lurked mainly
In his desk strewn basement
Shovelling furnace coke
We’d nick for a dare,
Each playtime watched us
Offering sweets
Nobody took:
And one night in the pub,
My decades older face
Still recognised,
Invites me back to his for a drink:
Over Polish vodka
Shows me his tattooed forearm
And speculates
A mother,
His wife and
A child
Just started at school
Then leaning forward
Confides a suitcase fully packed:
Passport, spare cash and some gold
That’s “…always good,
Can always be bartered for food.”




Kevin Patrick McCann
Illustration Nick Victor

From Still Pondering


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