Ten Years Ago: A Poem for 9/11: Everyday Magic, Day 408

I wrote this poem for “From Fear to Hope: Commemorating 9-11,” an interfaith event at the Dole Institute of Politics, where I read it this afternoon.

Ten Years Later

 

Ten years later, we share the same open heart

broken and confused, waiting and reaching

toward the kind of hope that trembles slightly

in the wind of old fear, yet unfolds its song.

The clear blue of that day still shines with

what can’t be replaced, who can’t find his way

home again, why anyone would shatter

so much alive and in motion. This anniversary

glows with the bravery of a woman who rushed

into the burning building to wheel someone out,

the photos on the fire station wall of the ones

who gave their lives, the bone-deep memory of

a police officer, first responder, rescue worker

who drove all night, all the ones up close

doing whatever they could and far away held together

in the sorrow that united us all.

 

Now the sky is just as blue, marred by contrails

of time in motion. The ground holds inexpliable loss

under layers of seasonal shift: snow long melted,

leaf fall swept away, flowers of one life turned

to sidewalks of another. The earth seems steady

under the new buildings New York, illuminated

benches in D.C., the people standing today

on the dented field in Pennslyvania —

landmarks or common places holding the sacred,

a rite of passage, a cave of grief, a moment breaking

our hearts open again in memory and nuance.

All of this telling us, remember to open

your life to all the courage you can and can’t imagine.

Remember to love bravely and completely.

 

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