A Story of a Fire

Mellissa Neve

16 May 2020

I was licked by fire
I never saw the flames
I ran down to the water’s edge
I drove into town

I rescued three birds on the long beach march
I lost my beloved cat
I fled east in a neighbours boat
I drove through smoke and flame

I stood and watched helicopters above
I saw a sea plane drinking
I finally met my neighbours
I lost my one true love

I drove many roads to get out of there
I had to drive back home
I asked for help, but none had water
I drained a swimming pool

I was alone fighting the fire
I stood with neighbours and we fought together
I was right at home
I was stuck so far from home

I saw embers in the night sky
I saw it take my home
I couldn’t see where it came from
I could see it making its way

I sat and heard many stories
I can’t hear another word
I saw a lake of water I could not use
I had not one drop of water

I was rescued by a jet ski
I made my own way out
I haven’t cried one single tear
I still cry everyday

I wasn’t here, but I came back to nothing
I was here, but it passed on by
I go to sleep and see the flames
I cannot sleep one wink

I waited for it to come to us
I took my hose to the front
I remember my dad’s kookaburra bookends
I lost so much it’s a blur

I wondered about my family and friends
I held my children tight
I lay down on the grass exhausted
I had no time, to rest

I watched it take things in a matter of minutes
I watched it smoulder for more than a month
I crossed the ocean mouth to get back home
I waited hours, on a windswept beach

I saw the sun as a red stop light
I saw smoke that blocked the sun
I lost a treasured mate
I made new friends that day

I didn’t even know anything had happened
I saw too much to comprehend
I watched the trees turn black before me
I saw glimpses of blue sky

I noticed birds sitting as statues
I noticed all the animals had vanished
I heard the roar of a wildfire
I listened to a silent forest

United in our grief, divided in our perspectives
Our stories of our fire