2106: A Bargee

He knows this cutting
[light is at four knots] –

barges are slip-halted
by wet ropes to banks

An industry – his canal
work – stern-still – as a

tillerman – pivoting – a
steer – then heaving at

lock gates – at winding
of rattling paddles – at

tugs & hauls to unknot
twists of auld routings

to loosen & to head off
towards his unloading

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