Walled Up

They usually left something behind,

the builders who finished the job,

something hidden in the walls

something that had been

part of their life

a mark made

a bottle

from a lunchtime brew

a crusty remnant of a meal 


or something more poignant

that would protect the house

that would protect their work

bring luck to those following.

Old shoes were popular



because the spirits of children were stronger

though any shoe would do at a pinch.

But this builder needed his,

he had none to spare

now his work was done.

So he left behind his glove

the one that he’d worn

to protect his hand

from the rough.

A hand shoe,

as good as a foot shoe

he must have thought.

He knew that tools were popular


but he had none to spare

now his work was done

his tools were for sale.

So he left behind screws

two screws

two new screws.

He thought it an appropriate leaving

for one who had been

well and truly screwed.

He hoped that

those who came after would understand

as he walled up his skills.

He hoped that

he could bring them better luck than he’d had

as he walled up his dreams.



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