David Lewis Paget
A Question Of Faith - Poem by David Lewis Paget
‘I’d swear that the sun is hotter, ’ she said,
‘It’s hotter than I can recall,
The garden’s turned into a desert, is dead
My plants are fried up to the wall.’
I said I agreed, the car was so hot
I often got scorched by the steel,
The belt with the buckle was always red hot
And so was the steering wheel.
I said you could tell by the state of the road
Could tell by the bitumen melt,
The surface was shiny with liquefied tar
The heat off the surface you felt.
Beyond was the countryside, brown and bereft
Not a single green shoot could you see,
The bushes were brown from the top to the ground
And there wasn’t a leaf on a tree.
‘The place is like tinder, it just needs a spark
And it all will go up with a roar, ’
We couldn’t survive in the smoke from the park,
We would have to be gone, well before.
I told Desdemona to pack us a case,
Just those things we would need on the run,
Some food and some water, a doll for our daughter,
Remember to pack us a gun.
We took it in turns to keep watch through the night,
To listen to every slight breeze,
The heat was intense, we looked over the fence
For any strange light through the trees,
It came from the valley, that terrible roar
So we knew that the demon was out,
Some one lit a spark way down in the park
And Des raised the house with a shout.
The three of us piled in the four wheel drive
And headed up over the hill,
The terror of flames in the rear view mirror
Have plagued and have haunted me still.
The wind had been gusting and fanning the flames
Pursuing us on our retreat,
Had crept up beside us and threatened to ride
Ahead to our certain defeat.
The heat so intense it had cracked the screen
And blistered the paint on the door,
When Desdemona let out a scream
To point to the gun on the floor.
‘Is this why you asked me to pack the gun,
Is it either that, or burn? ’
I’d not meet her eyes with a tissue of lies
So I masked my own concern.
I heard her pray as the tyres caught fire
And exploded, one by one,
I kept the pedal flat to the floor,
It was either that, or the gun.
Then out of the darkness loomed a lake,
It was water up to the doors,
We came to rest where the water blessed
With the fire held back by the shores.
The skies were grey and they opened up
With God’s good grace at the dawn,
I held my wife and my daughter close
As the rain made us feel reborn,
When the people tell me there is no God
I just smile, and I let them go,
If he isn’t there then I find it odd
That he sent the rain… I know!
10 November 2015
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