When the fire evicts us and smoke rents out every room in our house,
when the heat melts the carpets
and the pressure breaks the floorboards I’d go back
and burn for the reception morning where
my mother made us late for school because Puff Diddy’s ‘I’ll be missing you’
was playing and she had to wait till the song finished before
she could take me.
I’d burn for the night Zach came over
and we were too busy playing with Buzz and Woody
that my mum forgot to feed me that night. I’d burn for the
16 years since when I never let her forget that, despite
the fact she’s always been prepared to feed me every other day
before and after. I’d go back and burn for the Sunday afternoon’s
after church when Kwabena and Martin would invite themselves round
and we’d lose hours in Little Big Planet and Super Sunday football.
I’d gladly go back in and burn for the TV shows my mother raised me on.
for “Becker” and “3rd Rock From The Sun”. For “Fraiser”
and his “I’m listening”. For “Will and Grace” and every “Just Jack”
I’d burn for the day my mother bought us sky.
I’d burn for my childhood raised on Cartoon Network and Toon Disney.
I’d burn for “The Weekenders” and “Animaniacs”
For “Lloyd in space” and “Filmore”. I’d burn for our present.
Let the fires rip the flesh off my body for “Emmerdale” and “Doctor Who”.
For “Family Guy” and “Come Dine With Me”. I would burn
for David Lamb’s voice.
When the fire evicts us
I’d go back in and burn to try and save
every text my mum sent to me from the living room
whilst I was in my bedroom. I’d save
every “Put the kettle on” text she’d send on her way back home.
I’d fight the flames for every look of disappointment on her face
when she got home to no cup of tea.
I’d fight the fires for the first time I said
“I love you” to my ex in my bedroom. I’d go back and burn for the last time
even though I don’t remember when that was. I’d burn for the 6 months
she lived in our flat waiting for a job to magically present itself to her.
I’d burn for the Tuesday 3 months ago
where she tweeted how much she loved Mass Effect,
8 months after we’d broke up, a year and a half after I’d suggested it to her.
I always knew she’d like it.
When the house burns down, the first things I go back for won’t be
the Santa my nan knit me or my PS4 that may tax rebate paid for.
I don’t need to save my venetian masks or the 8 waistcoats in my wardrobe.
I’d just burn for memories, all the mornings when
I struggled to get out of bed. I’d burn for every moment
every raised voice, every piece of smashed cutlery I’d burn for it all.
When the house burns down, when the fire evicts us
I’d go back in, inhale the smoke, embrace the 3rd degree burns
to save my mum. Because when the house becomes ash and dust
if I save her, I’d still have a home