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The fires cahn done


Mavis Beckles

The fires cahn done

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BOY I TELL YA, the lot o’ fires got the fire service people seeing red. I doan think dat any o’ dem get a good night’s rest in ovah a month now, especially since March step in.
Look, I cahn tell ya how these fire getting started suh fast but one thing I could tell ya is dat duh coming fast and furious and duh got the poor fire men and women running and out-ting fires left, right and centre, morning, noon and night.
You could imagine 27 fires tuh put out in a day or two? Lord man, dat is something ya does hear bout or see pon television. I think I read something like dat sometime last week in the NATION newspaper ya know?
Dem poor fire men and women aint got nuh kinda time tuh breath and the thing is, the fires happening all ovah the island; making the fire people, as soon as duh get one fire out and done wid and a truck empty, have tuh get it full back up again fuh another fire. Now dat is rough.
The thing is the sun hot, the winds blowing nice and strong, evahthing dry as a bone and therefore fires could start at anytime, anywhere: It happens every year around this time. The other thing is dat from the time the canes ready tuh reap, duh got a lot o’ disgusting people who does take it upon demselves tuh go and light the people canes, fuh what I don’t know; duh like duh cahn seem tuh understand yet after the fire, if dem canes aint get cut down in a couple o’ days, dat is the end o’ dem, duh gine just stand in the field. And who stand tuh lose, not all o’ we?
Ya see fires? I could remember the big fires duh had in Bridgetown and how frighten and fascinated people was then. I could remember Fogarty and Cave Shepherd good ‘cause I used tuh work at Fogarty at the time and I could remember how horrible I did feel when I hear people hollering dat Bridgetown burning down, knowing tuh myself dat I was going tuh be outta work.
And look, in dem days duh aint had nuh National Insurance unemployment money tuh go and collect fuh nuh period o’ time tuh tide ya ovah ‘til ya get a lil something else tuh do. No soul, ya had tuh suck salt ‘til something else come along.
I hope we nevah have tuh see fires in Bridgetown again ‘cause duh does be real frightening and the buildings are very close, a lot o’ dem real old too and could catch quite easily, like the ones pon Baxters Road and Tudor Street dat build wid wood. I am sure like the Campus Trendz store, they would give the fire people old hell tuh get tuh.
The frightening thing bout fires is dat duh does take away evah single thing, duh doan discriminate and if you in duh path, you gone too. Another thing is this; duh got some materials dat does catch quick, quick, quick and I am sure it does give dem fire men and women bliz-ziks tuh put out. Duh got another type dat nuh matter how many times duh put it out, it does start back burning again and again.
I hate tuh hear bout fires, especially when people homes get burn down and whole families lose evah single thing dat duh work hard as France tuh get ovah the years. Sometimes duh does be renting or the house might even be theirs but it wasn’t insured, so you would know dat duh really lost evah thing.
But look at the one up there in St Thomas nuh? wunna see dat smoke? The thing make the whole place dark and caused schools tuh shut down and a lot o’ people tuh run from duh homes. I really hope duh get tuh the bottom of who or what caused it, ‘cause people could’ve lost their homes or even their lives.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.

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