<<You and your lip. You’re coming
to the sites my boy. Ten and all you
know is books. I’ll change your tune. >>
Bookie, they called me. <<Get two
bacon rolls, Bookie. One with; one
without. And a tin of striped paint -
blue and yellow. Remember -
yellow and blue. Oh, and a bag
of six-inch rubber nails. We’re nailing
electrics today. Don’t take no
for an answer.>> But it was no joke
when by lunchtime I hadn’t come back.
You should’ve seen it. My father’s face.
Like a rattlesnake’s trying to swallow
an albatross. My father eye to beak
with the foreman, in a calm voice saying
<<Ring the Police or I split your head
like a coconut.>> How they turned
cheek to cheek - like two lovers caught
in their bed as I swung round the skip
cheeping it’d been blue and yellow
murder and I’d tried every joke shop in
Soho. But here they were. Rubber
nails. And sorry Dad. No change.