Paul Burns





the truck ahead has one brake light that works
duck taped to the tailgate of its tipper
where white plastic bags blow around
in the slipstream         he’s indicating
drawing out of the junction, blue smoke
signals at his gearchange     slow decay
somewhere in its metal guts

back of a head with hair curling
round the headrest, unruly silhouette
against the windscreen smears
brake light again
the radio says saturday live
it must be nine a.m

slow white tipper truck     going to work
or wait to work somewhere     parked
uneasily on a site or sideroad
where clouds pull through all day
tools lifted out and clattered back
then sure enough before he’s gone

there’s a little girl with her red coat
done right up       watching this road
impossible not to have seen her
from the corner of the eye
any more than not to see the edges
of the grey sky     the unlit brake light
dancing bags or leaves spiralling
where the truck may once have been





Paul Burns lives in rural south Cheshire and works with his wife on their flower farm. He plays guitar and writes when not worn out from carting manure and leaning on a spade staring at the hills and sky.

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