Tuesday, September 14, 2010

9-11-10... It's been nine years

Yes, I know this is a couple days late, but I didn't have time to post it on 9/11 or the subsequent days. Oh the life of a college student.
Anyways, I wrote this poem about the events of that day so indelibly etched into my mind.

The chaos
the pain
the fear-
It's like it was yesterday.
I watch the footage again
and my heart still hurts,
Even nine years later.
So many lost
and so many we're still losing.
But our resolve is strong-
We may have lost the fight,
but we will win the war.
They may break our hearts,
but they will never shatter our resolve.
They cannot win.
They will not win.

This video(courtesy Youtube) is one of the best tributes to the events of that day that I've seen.

Additionally, one of my favorite poems was written about 9/11. "The Names" by Billy Collins was read to a special session of Congress in the days approaching the first anniversary of the attacks. The text is below. He describes it better than I ever could.

The Names
Billy Collins, 2002

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
Then Baxter and Calabro,
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
As droplets fell through the dark.
Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
Names slipping around a watery bend.
Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
In the morning, I walked out barefoot
Among thousands of flowers
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
And each had a name --
Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
Names written in the air
And stitched into the cloth of the day.
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
Monogram on a torn shirt,
I see you spelled out on storefront windows
And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
I say the syllables as I turn a corner --
Kelly and Lee,
Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
When I peer into the woods,
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
As in a puzzle concocted for children.
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
Names written in the pale sky.
Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
Names silent in stone
Or cried out behind a door.
Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds --
Vanacore and Wallace,
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.

Whether it's been nine years or ninety-nine years, we must never, ever forget.