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the day i saved the street


I see from our garden

The glowing stick flicked

From a passing car window


It smoulders in the road

A string of smoke snaking

My young eyes growing wide

In alarm


I’d seen the adverts

A careless butt

Left unattended

The whole living room in flames

Carelessness Causes Fires


The road would set alight

Then our garden

Then our house

Then the whole street


My big brother finds me

Crouched in the road

Cheeks puffing as I blow at the stub

In desperation

“Sometimes,” he says with authority

“They use sand.”


My mother receives a call

From a concerned



To inform her that her children

Were in the middle of the road

Throwing soil on a cigarette.

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