He always dragged his left foot
and sold evening newspapers,
standing on the corner of the ‘Regal’ cinema
by the bus station.
Insisted on calling the ‘Evening Chronicle’
HayeeKroll – “HayeeKroll!”
he’d yell every night except week-ends.
Everyone knew what he was saying.
On wintery Saturdays he’d be selling
the local football rag, tramping damp estates,
coughing in the fog,
bawling out his understandable incomprehensibles,
wearing down the inside of one heel
and the outside of the other.
He’d always seem to turn up during
the ‘Six-Five Special’ when Lonnie Donegan
was doing ‘Rock Island Line’.
“Go and get a ‘Pink Final’”, my father would say.
We used to call him ‘Macleans’
because of his rampant tooth decay.
He had a little fat dog
that he’d drag around on a lead in the day.
He dragged it around for almost a week after it died
before things sunk in -
Stopped selling evening papers after that
and went the way of his teeth.
We still talk of him
forty years later.