In the nondescript early morning of an industrial day
Two men, perhaps a father and son,
Pick their path down the motorway verge
Stabbing trash, paper and discarded cups
With pointed sticks; wearing luminous bibs,
Woolly hats and pained expressions.
The father, for he is that in my mind,
Has a ruddy countenance, heavy jowls;
The son, if my theory is right,
Is tall and thin, stretched by circumstance.
Their small talk, like their progress,
Is slow and broken but continuous.
All this I see in seconds as I speed by.
They and their work are separate things
In front of them a day of drudgery
In acidic air tasting sharp and bitter,