100 days as a milk man.

Running.
Four months
February to mid June
I ran.

To the accompaniment
of tinkling bottles.
A symphony of sand
branded milk bottles.

Bottles in crates
and bottles
between freezing fingers.
Numb hands
forced apart
by narrow necks.

Manners and a sunny
disposition
were not required tools
for the position

Just speed
and a good memory.
Number 21
gets three full fat
monday to thursday
and four on a friday
and saturday.

Number 67
only took 3 a week,
monday, wednesdsy
and saturday,
he was a widower
you see and only
took a wee drop
in his tea.

Monickers
were nonsense
in the roll call
of doors and orders.
Christened
to the tune of that
dropped on
your doorsteps.

Different folks
took different orders
There was hell to pay
if you forgot them.

And it wasnt just bottle
or just milk,
It was
cream,
orange juice,
yoghurts,
smoothies,
eggs
and cheese.

I ran
over a hundred days,
ten miles every night.
Monday to Saturday

a thousand miles
a quarter million bottles
thousands of eggs
and my legs grew strong.
I savoured the joy
of bright dawns
the scent of a night garden
stocks and jasmine.
night walking
Drunks and whores.

I understood all I need to
I graduated as a whizz
in mathematics, geography
and memory
Now ready to write poetry.

on the sixth of June
all used up
I gave it up.
dues paid
Last bottle delivered

  -Dave Kavanagh.

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