#99

September 11, 2011 § 3 Comments

Ten years is enough time
To feel bad for how much we’ve forgotten
And ten years is enough time to heal…
if you were far enough away
Many of us will imagine
that we hurt again today
But some will simply change the bandages
On wounds that throb with pain
I was a teenager (barely)
Spending that afternoon
Home from school, confused
And watching just cartoons –
The only channel not
sickeningly
Replaying grainy film of graying skylines
Like the slow motion replays of brutal sports
But with every rewind, this time
Things were getting worse

Today,
A nation remembers
Some will pray
Hug
Cry
Or cry out –
With fierce patriotic pride
But today is not about “America”
This is a memorial –
America survived

Tonight,
We remember those who died
But in a thousand other houses
Some have never stopped remembering
(How could they?)
And it is they for whom I pray

In ten years,
Songs have been written, laws have been made
In our desperate desire to make sense of that day
Air travel is stricter, security raised
Physical and philosophical wars have been waged
But after ten years, I can think only
Of things that are painfully the same,
Like breakfast tables with missing smiles
And two car garages with empty space

But the world hasn’t stopped spinning
For the victims who survived that day
And ten years only reminds them
Of how much their lives have changed

In ten years, girls have married men whose hands
Their fathers never got to shake
Widows have spent three thousand six hundred fifty two nights
Lonely, and countless moments awake
Children who knew their father’s voices
only through their mother’s womb
Will watch the memorial news coverage once more
From their fourth and fifth grade desks at school
Children at the time too young
To be shown that nightly news
Now step voluntarily on planes
In camouflage and combat boots

This is not a day to rejoice in revenge
Or retribution
An eye for an eye gives no one sight

This is not a day to slink in fear
Or worry
Of the arrow that flies by night

This is not a day to revere a nation
In pride
Our citizenship is in Heaven

This is not a day to be angry
Or curse
The events of September 11th

Today we can do nothing
To change what ten years couldn’t erase
But raise arms to the God who marched in sorrow
As he brushed dust and debris away
From the first men and women falling victim
To a whole new American war
As He led them up a staircase winding from
The ground from which towers were torn

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