I came too late
and never saw his face,
just a shrouded figure on the stretcher
and boots protruding from the plastic sheet.
A summer afternoon. The sun lay
like a warm hand on his back
as he climbed up to fix a broken tile.
He could see for miles from here –
the hills as soft as smoke,
the sea air prickling like champagne.
Reaching for his tools
he trod on air,
saw the sky slide sideways,
heard the seagull’s scream cut
Just the boots.
The sort you wear for doing outside work,
clarted with dried mud
and the left one’s lace undone.
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