Alistair Wilkinson Author
Alistair WilkinsonAuthor

Fourth Day, March 26th 

Recycling day. This morning the binmen came 

sunglasses and high-vis vests, bare, tattooed arms.  

Health and safety hell’s angels.  

A white truck. New. Top loading.  A sexy thing  

for the middle-aged and the babes.  

Bins of plastics hoisted high into the air  

while the lorry’s wheels, not tracks, crush skulls.  

The crack of broken bone is smothered by the soft,  

quiet fall of plastics and cardboard,  

marshmallows falling into the dark corners of a library 


It's so quiet. No queue of cars itching to pass.  


Until the glass. Hoisted high into the air,  

the first clinks and clashes, little bells that ring out to bigger bells,  

an avalanche of alarms as empty beers, wines and spirits,  

empty dreams, crash into the darkness 


Inside an argument with middle over the dishwasher.  

The rota holds firm, stems the tide, lets us hide.  

We argue over Skynet. Stay inside if you want to live.  

Who's that holding out their hand?  


don’t leave the house. Outside the window stasis 

A pond waiting for the stone, a bin lorry waiting for the glass 


By the afternoon the sun burns again,  

but I close the backdoor against the chill.  

Through the window behind me I can see the cracks  

in the brown patches of earth have spread,  

the only movement, the only change is webbing its way into the grass.  


I don’t leave the house all day. The walls don’t move at me,  

at least not until I'm cooking tea and everyone’s shouting at me 


At eight o’clock I'm at my window, not expecting much 

Then the roar of a neighbour and the applause of the street 

Dressing gowns and fireworks. Awkward and quickened 


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© Alistair Wilkinson