No one knew for sure where Whistling Steve
Disappeared to – one day he was present
Digging holes in the road for electrics,
Sewage pipes and cables. Then he wasn’t.
A day at work could not be called complete
Without a stream of unremitting trills
Escaping on his breath; without the piercing
Klaxon of his catcall as a girl passed by;
Without his army riffs; his lark ascending.
When drains and gullies needed clearing
Whistling Steve was there, his shovel shouldered,
His lips alive with melody. But when
The world went wireless he simply dissolved,
Like birdsong fading in a rising wind.