This side of the street weighs less than previous years
As two of its heavier aged residents have passed away,
And their accumulated service has been lost, inclining
Those across the road of a more transient approach
To feel bewildered as they step upon the scales.
But their presence is a constant in the ever changing
Factors that combine to keep the home fired hearths
Ablaze, as they’re always being referred to, and
Their wisdom called upon, when any indecisive
Stoker pokes around the mantlepiece ashamed.
And after darkest winter has applied its starkest
Interval, and tinder box technicians are fatigued,
Then more than ever knowledge of the hardiest
Abilities will be needed to allow their kin to carry on
In ways acceptable to modern mannered standards;
So that if a swarthy stranger or a carrier of foreign
Tongues, or passenger of circumstance, comes by,
Then at least a well fuelled boiler and a meal made
From its toiling will provide them with an anecdote
To banish any thoughts they have of us as clueless.