Union Man

I stayed up late watching men
on barges putter off from one
overnight mooring to another

at a speed to not wash away –
[nor wake boats] – Chatterings
of diesel strokes – a symphony

of canal songs – as men thirst
for a mug of tea [after pinned
ties to a doppelgänger bank –

a scruffy towpath re-moored]
& then that creak of knot-tight
urges as a still day drifts away

[with regulations kept-to by all
navigators] – Drawn curtains to
stilly a tired Grand Union crew