They joke, as old men do;
All innuendo and bluster:
Christ, you’d be a useless –
But he doesn’t finish it because here,
Side by side in the autumn sun
It is too nice for insult,
feigned or intended.
They talk in the shorthand of shared lives:
Machinery and parts and hard work;
The glory of knowing, now at least,
It was just about worth it;
What with tea not far away,
The sun smeared on lined faces.
Now, the decades folded in
They even know the other’s jokes.
Useless you reckon; you’d know.
And then the look that said more.