Karl Riordan


We were about to land
on the banks of the Clyde.
Two older lads –
probably now in their fifties –
threw their coats overboard.
One lit two cigarettes in his mouth,
passed a fag over to his pal
then checked his inner wrist for the time.
In school books drawing the Saltire
without lifting from the paper;
the Zorro ‘Z’ turns into an envelope.
The nib split like my father’s fingernail
pressing onto the road atlas, Bellshill
the car radio changing accents.

I never found out why their Parkas
got tossed into the black water,
as if casting nets for something
or shedding their outer shells.
Whether they left anything in their pockets.

Karl Riordan is a working writer currently based in Sheffield after stints around the UK & Ireland. Previous publications have appeared in Dream Catcher, Drey & James Kirkup Memorial Anthology. He is studying the MA Creative Writing at Sheffield University & works as a Scribe for Disability Support Services at Sheffield Hallam University.


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