That day

Home was the last place I should have been
That day
Dire warnings, my own fear
Not enough
To erase the sense of safety
Of Home

 

He shouldn’t have left me
That day
To prepare for disaster
Child swelling my belly
Another at my feet
So Tired

 

I worked so very hard
That day
Pumps and hoses
Mops and buckets
Water in the bath
So Pointless

 

And then I slept
That day
So tired and foolish
Listening to the radio
For a warning
Never broadcast

 

And he returned and slept too
That day
Lying in the heat
Until a knock disturbed our slumber
A warning most
Never received

 

The sky was an urgent red
That day
As I packed the car
Photos and documents
Clothes and toys, soon to be
All we owned

 

Why did I leave so late?
That day
I had a plan
But hesitated to leave him
Unprepared for a
Firefight

 

I drove towards the fire
That day
Heuristic brain
Fragmentary information
Conspiring to lead me towards
Danger

 

The roads were almost deserted
That day
In that reddened dark
Emergency vehicles absent
Only a water truck
Ironic really

 

The wind roared into the firefront
That day
Shaking my car
Scaring me senseless
Much closer than
I thought

 

His frantic call almost stopped my heart
That day
Wavering voice
Cacophony behind
Running for his life, surrounded by
Fire

 

Much worse again was the silence
That day
Phone lines dead
Communication down
No way of knowing
His Fate

 

I had to remain calm
That day
And put my son to bed
Comfort his mother
Check if my baby was moving
And wait

 

And finally the phone did ring
That day
A neighbour with the news
He was injured but alive
Our home destroyed
Our lives to rebuild anew

 

And so I tried to sleep
That day
My aching body
And numbed soul
Unable to comprehend
But never to forget
That day

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