The day in
the year after
the fall of the
Soviet Empire

I shared a cabin
on the ferry
to the Hoek
of Holland with

a lorry driver
from Wolverhampton.
He & twenty
others were

taking super-
annuated trucks
to Russia but
other than that

he had no idea
where they were
heading. The gaffer
was in control &

anyway it was
an adventure
good money & all
the driver said

smoking a Golden
Holborn in the upper
bunk before
going to sleep.

I can still hear
him softly snoring
through the night,
see him at dawn

climb down the
ladder: big gut
black underpants,
put on his sweat-

shirt, baseball
hat, get into
jeans & trainers,
zip up his

plastic holdall,
rub his stubbled
face with both his
hands ready

for the journey.
I’ll have a
wash in Russia
he said. I

wished him the
best of British. He
replied been good
to meet you Max.

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