The woman from across the road walked by and I asked if everyone was out. She pointed to a huddle, two adults, children. They were okay but my close neighbour hadn’t said much to the woman because she was in shock.
We watched the house burning. More people came, walked by, or grew bored and left. The fire outlined something that may have been a baby’s cot and I looked at the family watching their house burn. So many people looked on from unkempt sidewalks, an audience giving the sufferers wide berth, no one of them getting too close to a mother’s tears and her children’s cries.
Her words jumbled together as she spoke into her phone and tears ran down her cheeks. No words could cross the distance between here and the fear in that woman’s eyes, so I hugged her and the child in her arms instead.
“Our house is burning, mommy, our house is burning,” he said, over and over.