It's a year since Grenfell Tower in west London was destroyed by a fire that killed 72 people.
by Rip Bulkeley
Like any and every other day
this one was filled with happiness,
with loss and crime and ice-cream vans,
with lovers' confessions and catastrophes,
with hopeless refugees, with foolishness and failures,
with traffic shunts and garbled texts
and delicious meals shared with friends.
Nothing extraordinary was supposed to occur.
Our online lives were already too full for that,
too crammed with coping, fears, and change,
with the welcome birthday of a partner
or the unwanted anniversary of their dementia.
But it fell like childbirth, nightfall, epilepsy, winter.
It thrust its evil way into the evil world
which we had built especially for its theatre,
ending scores of lives and changing those of thousands.
No flights into or out of Heathrow
were grounded by its column of charnel smoke,
though Ramadan was no doubt changed
for some of those who rushed to help.
We cannot, should not, put it back, or do it justice,
or move on. The self-syled 'great'
are remembered for a century or two,
but 72 Hashims or Glorias or Biruks?
There hasn't been a single day of national mourning,
a Grenfell Day.