Mummy, I’m missing,
you’re kissing my head,
as I roll out of bed, seeing red,
fire on my feet, mummy the heat,
mummy, I want my mum,
but she doesn’t come, why doesn’t she come?
I run. Into the smoke, choke
on the black. On the fires that are hissing,
Maria, I never meant to die,
making you ask why,
just why I was leaving, why the walls were heaving,
why the ceiling was rumbling, why I was fumbling,
to save you from the crumbling floor,
before it was too late,
I couldn’t wait, hesitate, because then
you’d be gone. Like I am now. But that’s okay,
and I’m sorry I made you cry, made you ask why,
because, Maria, I never meant to die
Shattered glass, removed from class,
sirens roaring, embers falling, they’re calling,
through the pain, those who remain, through the fire, growing higher,
blaring in my ears, screaming their fears, to be saved,
save everyone, save the missing, save my dad, save my mum,
save my brother, save my sister, save my son, save my daughter,
save my grandad, save my grandmum, save my aunt, save my uncle
save my love, heavens above, I don’t care how. Save them now. Please.
On the 14th of June 2017, Grenfell Tower, a residential apartment block, in Central London caught fire. My parents and I went to see the aftermath and our hearts were broken. The numerous memorials were powerful and sad to see. But there was also a poster advertising submissions for poetry related to the destruction of Grenfell Tower.
This poem is my submission. Each stanza takes on the perspective of a different person affected by the fire. The first stanza focuses on a small child, the second on a boyfriend who sacrifices himself to save his girlfriend and the third on a first responder.
See the advert below:
I performed this poem at an open mic event: watch the video below