Marauding terrorist attacks and defibrillators

He’s had a tough day
and asks if I mind him joining me.
He sits down and rubs his forehead,
his fingers wet sponges
soothing the chassis of a 4 x 4.
I’d rather not talk about it,
he says, unprompted, so we remain
strangers sharing a chunk of the afternoon.
His first pint goes and he tells me
he’s no good at exams and today
he was forced to take one in a conference centre
for a security job he’s been trusted to do
for the last 20 years. Sorry, mate, he says.
You don’t want to hear about
marauding terrorist attacks and defibrillators.
The biscuits they had were good though
I put my book down. He buys me a pint.

© Carl Burkitt 2023

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