Notes from a fire, by Rose Drew

I am not a silent poet

Hauling possessions back
to those who lived, the driver
points out the building:

smutty stubby middle finger
still stabbing the Notting Hill sky,
a half-burned matchstick
proclaiming FUCK YOU
to everyone:

elites happy to swagger past gardens
thru lobbies with smiling staff
while their lesser neighbors
ease by bins,
rattle keys into dented metal doors,
ride up the swaying service elevator:

some residents more equal than others.

I rather wish they were not
picking it apart,
floor by damning floor,
removing evidence:
erasing shame.

Leave that charred body tied to its stake.
Leave it grim,
a reminder
cheap cladding is more expensive than
one can bear;
that funds slashed for fire fighting
or for sprinklers BEFORE the fires must be fought
are not expenses.
They are the price of being human.

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