Homes We Fight For In The Fire by Camari Serau
A fire tried to take my neighbour’s home away last week.
I sat on the roof of my house
like the other neighbourhood kids,
and watched as cars raced
in succession up our street,
anxious folk, rushing toward the safety of their homes
before the fire trucks reached
(The yasa boys were the only crazy ones around).
We all saw the flames,
but they were the brave ones
who tried to put it out
My neighbour had just left town
minutes into his road trip, oblivious to the crisis,
and of how
a fire crew had scrambled up his roof,
tore apart the ceiling and
hosed his living room down, how,
outside, the small group of bystanders
had turned into a crowd,
phones high, going live
on social media for clout
The same week,
we watched a whole town burn down on T.V.
The hellishness of it
haunting heavily our lips; humble families
finding their only refuge in the seas,
their only protector while they waited for relief.
(The sirens had not sounded, the winds had not tamed)
the nearest help was miles away. Their leaders had failed.
From where I was sitting, I could see the smoke clearly,
and so could the other kids
We were our neighbour and the folk of the town,
bones weighed down with anguish and grief
The capitalists still race past the warnings
leaders coddle their ignorance as if the sirens aren’t resounding.
Deaf to the earth’s cries, they build their ambitions high,
while the fires inch closer to where they reside.
Every day, our home burned, and we all saw the flames
But we were a crowd of bystanders believing we were safe.
Every day, our home burns, and we all see the flames
Will we be the brave ones who’ll put it out?
or will we be the leaders who failed?