sun’s rays hot on my skin.
Birdsong and the beat of next door’s music
drape a background to my repose.
I think of my house, my land,
reflect how far I’ve travelled
since life on the fifth floor of
an inner city tower block
with its one staircase,
lifts always breaking down.
Heat swathes my body,
my eyes close
and I drift across the bridge of half-sleep,
over the river to the south of the city
where forgotten people
are slihouetted figures in the dark
nameless faces behind closed doors
their silent screams unanswered
as they inhale smoke, cough, struggle to breathe.
A phone camera captures the moment
a terrified mother throws her baby out of the window.
Her cries cut the burning air, her desperation clear.
Many push their way down flight after flight
of concrete stairs. A boy carries his disabled mother
on his back., a girl texts her mum
and all the time, flames tongue
sides of the building
feeding hungrily on cheap cladding,
that isn’t fire-retardant.
Metal supports bow and bend,
lives smoulder in ash
soaked with tears.