Last week a girl drowned while swimming in a puddle on Hannah Street. Today two men stop their van outside my window. Their bituminous truck blocks the high street as the driver jumps out, flips down the tailgate and shovels six scoops of cool tarmac into the puddle – an impromptu road repair. Water explodes as the filling goes in. The second guy, like a black cut-out at the end of his shift throws the slapper-plate from the tail as if it were a pie. A hot engine roars. Kids on their way back from school stand and stare. The stop, the scoop, the dance, so quick even the patience of drivers remain unprickled. Tools clatter home, and the road menders flee. From the door of the betting office a procession crosses the pavement and sets a wreath against the curb.
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