The old diesel lorry chugged down Evering Road
Les Hepheard lazily swinging the huge steering wheel Summer scents from the trees and front garden flowers
seemed to drown under the stench our exhaust created.
Both Les and my mate Joe Blanchflower confined to the cab
While I travelled in splendour standing on the open backed slab Wind in my hair I had no care for the ladder we went to retrieve
Leaning nonchalantly like a Council workman, from the ground to the gutter
Our leviathan ladder, outside number seventy five .
One hand on the barge-board left foot on the side striker, I leapt to the five foot drop
I had not detected nor even suspected my ring would be snagged by a bolt
My face slammed into the door, as Les then saw, and I was so surprised
My ring finger lay in an old Hackney gutter just oozing tricked blood.
My shock was such, it didn’t hurt much as I plucked the digit from dirt
With a slither of sash-cord I asked Joe to knot my stump with the bone sticking out.
The ladder neglected Les quickly elected, to drive like a bat out of hell
Flew through Clapton Road.
Like a boy the boy cried “please hide your hand or I ‘ll puke
I crossed at the road crossing to A. and E..
Lined up clutching my finger but a sharp eyed nurse
Took me straight into trauma.
Shivering cold, I was asked, no – told
to answer some silly questions
I realise now they were addressing the shock
That was quickly taking hold.
Up in the ward, a Doctor then called
To say that my finger must go
Whirling corridors with lights overhead
My trolley bumped by the mile.
Next day, my Brother and Mother
were followed by my wife
I tried to make light of my accident plight
But later I cried in the soft ward light
To see my finger missing.
Later, the Council said “ neglect was my bed”
My taking to ride the the flat bed that had led
To the loss of a single left finger
In the end I was the singer by three thousand pounds.