poems and essays on September 11, 2001
No, friends, we aren't safe,
Not free these days --
Our ivory towers now fallen,
We live instead
in glass houses with uncertain foundations.
Under the burden of heavy hearts,
Subdued by fragility and transience of life itself,
Waiting, wondering, weeping
For those we've lost.
Great country though we are,
Our once peaceful hearts torn, crumbling
Pierced with sorrow, consumed
by burning flames, smoldering
Like rubble of destruction we see around us.
Cameras flashing images
Of gaping holes, of anguished souls
Longing for wholeness,
Searching for truth amid turmoil,
Hoping, grasping for life
Even in the valley of death.
World peace now apparent illusion
Like Quixote's impossible dream
The unreachable star.
Or so it seems.
What remains now
But this great void?
Impenetrable silence, unprecedented fears --
Clouds of disbelief overshadowing
all but the faintest ray of hope.
Great buildings, great spirits
Crushed, reduced almost to nothing
By senseless devastation:
The Reign of Terror unleashed.
And yet in chaos there remains
Semblance of order, fleeting glimpse
Of love at its best:
Valiant efforts of those special few
Who would lay down their life for a friend --
Or even a stranger,
Who give of themselves so others may live
To see another day,
To hear another song, touch another hand,
To hold another loved one close.
For it is they who feel most deeply,
They who understand
That even in sorrow and death
goodness and life eventually prevail.
originally posted as part of the Not Just virtual chapbook, on September 11, 2002
Poem © 2002 Kathleen Prime, all rights reserved
appears here by permission