I can hear his knees cracking as he bends
down and struggles to untie his shoelaces.
When his foot is free I can see
his little toe poking out of a worn down sock
that is accidentally inside out.
The stone tumbles on to the narrow path
from his upturned trainer and he wags a finger
inside to check there are no other stones
before sliding it back on. He messes up
retying his laces then needs to lean
one hand on the wooden bench opposite him
to help stand upright. He does one of those
dry coughs and pats the dust off
his tracksuit bottoms. He has no idea
how to get back home from here
but he’s up for a walk.
© Carl Burkitt 2021