Come quick, my house is on fire

Caused, I think by faulty electric wire

That I had to attach from the street pole

As having electricity was my primary goal

I put my name down for a house they said I could get

But the list is so long that I bet,

I could be old before I have a house to live in

So to keep my family safe, I bought zinc and wood to begin,

To build a roof over our heads to keep us safe and sound,

From the criminals and elements that nature abounds

I’m told it’s illegal, and I can’t stay on this land,

To shelter my kids from the heat and sand.

That scorches our lives in every way,

The colour of my skin is meant to pay

Over and over again because it’s not white

I get treated like dirt, and that’s just not right.

I used to have land, but that was before

Colonialism and Apartheid came to our shore,

And took all I had with violence and guns,

Making slaves of people like me all at once

My house is on fire in the blazing sun,

And cold as the Artic when the rains come,

To beat down on the tin that covers my head,

Even though home for me is no bigger than a shed

Where you place your tools

That I am forced to use

To tender your grass and flowers and plants

Sometimes it’s too much and I just can’t

Seem to end the cycle of poverty you keep me in

Quite honestly, I don’t know where to begin.

To pull me together and pay for the sin,

Of being black in this world, I live in

There are many of us whose story is the same,

And it’s a crying shame,

That we can’t live where we want as our ancestors could

Because the red ants will come and evict us as they’ve been told they should

By a people who have never once lived like us

Moved by greed, they consider it a must,

To bust down our door,

And destroy everything, including the floor.

We made to keep us together

Under dreadful conditions including the weather

That seems to conspire against us too

We never know what they might do.

To us because we aren’t white

Which doesn’t help even when we are right?

My house is always on fire because there is no peace and calm,

While trying to keep us safe from harm

Eventually, some of us give in,

By abusing drugs to avoid the realities we live in

Treated worse than the dogs that white people own

Who often has a better house than they see as home

My house is on fire as is my heart,

Because long ago, I welcomed you to my land and that wasn’t smart.