The Thin Line

This week was going to be all about rap and then something happened.

I’ve never been a poet. It’s not a skill that comes naturally to me. And although I love some poetry a lot of the stuff that is critically lauded doesn’t do it for me. I just figure it’s not my thing and concentrate on what I love: prose. But then on Saturday my hubby shared the above image that someone had used as a profile picture on Facebook. The original photo seems to have come from Reddit and I guess it was used on this occasion in recognition of the courage of firefighters that responded to the fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve had a rough time of it in the UK this past month. That hand reaching out of the smoke symbolises the amazing response by all our emergency services in the face of the most tragic and harrowing disasters. It could be any one of us making that call. To them all, I say thank you and offer the following poem that’s come to me like a gift from nowhere.

When your home is ablaze
Or you’re trapped and in pain
When the smoke chokes
In faded hopes
You’ll ever walk again
Through the dark
Through the dust
I’ll reach out my hand
Escort you, release you
And help you to stand

When your heart trips you up
When you’re bleeding and broken
When the pain drains
Your hope wanes
Prayers silently spoken
Through near death
Through terror
I’ll reach out my hand
Revive you, repair you
And help you to stand

When the wolf’s at your door
And he’s screaming your name
When the fear sneers
And thugs jeer
Race tensions enflamed
Through attack
Through disaster
I’ll reach out my hand
Protect you, seek justice
And help you to stand

In the wind, in the rain
In the dark, in the danger
To the terror, the bomb
To the flames we’re no stranger
Doesn’t matter your race
Doesn’t matter your gender
Dial us up
999
We’ll be there
Human nature
To help and to heal
Our hands held out to you
The frontline
A thin line
Of red, green and blue

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