They say that they’re wishing us well,
but how could we ever believe them
when remembering Grenfell?
It feels like an obvious truth
that these people weren’t humans to you,
and I’m sure you think the longer you wait
the more this will go away.
I think one day that that’ll be true,
but I also think it’s our job
to keep reminding you.
Of the 72.
The 72 lives lost to save money.
Homes set ablaze
with nothing in place to stop flames
that ripped through families,
tore through friends,
forced mums to throw their babies
out of windows at flame point
and I keep coming round to the same point:
their homes weren’t safe.
It was cheaper for them not to be.
They’d rather burn people than money,
and I ain’t being funny;
this sounds like manslaughter to me.
You didn’t want them to die,
but you didn’t care if they did;
parents and kids,
brothers and sisters,
nannies and grandads,
all with a similar problem:
they were common.
Working class people mean nothing to rich folk.
but these homes were flammable
and these people knew it.
This wasn’t an accident.
It was choice made as part of procedure,
and it wasn’t that long ago either.
In 2016, there was a so-called renovation
and in 2017 72 people died in front of the nation.
Basted in the class system they roasted in their homes.
Jacob Rees-Mogg blames them for their own deaths,
it’s their common sense he bemoans.
Not the fact that their homes weren’t safe,
or that their deaths were entirely avoidable,
or that they died for no reason,
or that they died because they were poor,
or that this kind of thing never happens to his lot.
These are poor people problems
and poor lives don’t matter.
That’s as clear as a bell
and a matter of fact
when you remember Grenfell.
© 2019 Jake Nathan
East London born Jake Nathan is a poet, writer and rapper. Now living in Rochester, Jake performs his spoken word poetry all over Kent.