After Clacker had roared into 

the deserted school playground 

in the works pickup, 

he wouldn’t budge from his cab. 

He left it to us to flip the clips

to free the tailboards. We took our time 

dragging the ten-foot sections 

of Mills scaffold frames and boards 

off the bed, while he sat 

in a bubble of Radio Stoke, stony-faced, 

his eyes restlessly checking 

the dashboard clock, us in his mirror. 

He burst from his cab without greetings, 

as though ready to fight us, tugging 

on his gloves, yanking each frame, 

crashing them onto the concrete,

chuntering it wasn’t his job 

to be handling scaffold for painters.

His shiny boots going at it, 

toe-punting, stamping fast the clips. 

Door slammed, back in his cab, 

reversing at high revs, 

wheel-screeching away 

to whatever site he was due next.