Wordview 2020: This Man Comes In

He’s tough, this man. A worker. Early. Shoulders the weight

of a high-rise day, boots brick-heavy, hands: gloveless,

calloused.

 

‘Better to grip’ he’d wink, rolling a smoke for a fix on the go

as he waves in trucks, cranes, deliveries of rain to a roof

where he weighs up the wind.

 

For him, the clearest threat was always glass; fear was a pipe

burst. Now there’s a risk that’s more than the building’s worth,

and when this man comes in

 

he’s drilling what ifs through his head, fretting to me about numbers,

equipment, boundaries unheeded by men and we touch,

but after he’s showered.

 

And after he’s showered,

and after I’ve massaged the hours from out his back or legs,

I think about clapping, and look to the clock and realise, again,

what we’ve missed.

Recording provided as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020. Used by permission of the author.

Wordview 2020 Winners

Welcome to the Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020 Collection. For the first time the Archive opened its doors wide to poets from around ...

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Tiffany Anne Tondut

Cambridge-raised, Tiffany now lives in Sutton with her husband and baby Margot. She has a Masters in Poetry from Kingston Uni and taught Performance Poetry at The City Lit, having performed for the Festival of Britain and radio. Her work has featured in Magma, The Rialto and Poetry News amongst other publications. In 2015 she was a winner in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize. She is the founding publisher of poetry press Laudanum.

Glossary

A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

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