Harbour Street

Where I used to live
In a room in the corner of an old brick building
The streets would stretch out in all directions
Some winding down beside the river, some disappearing through horse lanes
One stopped at a rock cliff
The last one ending at the harbour.

A man lived in a building opposite, and he would dress up each day
Winter or summer, In a thick coat
And head down to the water to fish
His wife would wait for him
She would clean the house
Talk to the neighbours
Go out sometimes on her own.

They had lived in that house for fifty-eight years.
She had a stroke one winter afternoon
The man would only fish once a week, then
He had to stay home and look after her
He grew thinner
I never saw her again

One night, at midnight,
There was a funny smell like toast being burned and burned
Then the street filled with smoke
And there were sirens and fire trucks stuffed into that old street
So nothing could move; even the hoses had a hard time getting out
An electric blanket had smouldered into flame and killed them both

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