To Those We've Lost

By Jennifer N. Carson


We became a world of witnesses,

To your terror and our fear,

awakened by first flames,

And the screams co-workers hear.

False hope it was an accident,

But gasp it cannot be,

As we spy the second plane,

Bank, then crash on our t.v.

With you, we sipped our coffee,

Opened mail, began our day,

Buckled baby for her first flight,

Took off on holiday.

Did not know you were in danger,

Did not see a single sign,

Cannot cry another tear,

Cannot go back in time.

Shudder as the towers crumble,

Twin symbols of U.S. might,

Whole cities wail for those missing,

Firemen, office workers and each flight.

Dark storms of crushed concrete and

Shards of glass slice the streets,

Suffocate, flay skin, crush limbs,

Rewind, replay, repeat.


We are a world of survivors,

Hanging flags and saying prayers,

Lighting candles, holding hands,

Wishing life were fair.

Our landscape is forever changed,

The sky, our hearts, are black,

With smoke, debris, panic, death,

Fear for another attack.

Numbing images cloud our dreams:

A rain of memos flutter by,

As well-heeled bodies hurtle

Against a fierce blue sky.

Leaders vow vengeance,

While we fear more loss of life,

Can we find this enemy?

Should we pick up the knife?

Each from his own tradition grips,

His Bible, Torah, Koran,

Begging his God to keep him safe,

Talisman against the Taliban.

We pledge never to forget this day,

Tuesday, September Eleven,

We are with you, in life and in spirit,

As surely as you are in Heaven.

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