Sunday, September 19, 2004

Poem: September 11

Only a week removed from the third anniversary of the WTC bombings, I find myself thinking back to my first visit to the site. I can remember everything about 9/11. I can also remember the anger and fear, and attending a High School friend's memorial. I helped raise over $200,000 to aid the victims' families in the town I work in and to build a memorial there, but the most emotional moment for me was visiting the site. We all saw the images on TV or magazines, but driving there and seeing an empty space in the skyline, and then standing on the platform overlooking the frightening devastation, provided me with images that I will never relinquish. I live about an hour from NYC and had been in the Towers many times; while in college, I sometimes worked for my dad as a messenger into the Wall Street area. So, going to the site, and seeing the ruins, left me with a tremendous disconnect; until I saw the unscathed sidewalk in one spot. After being interviewed, half numb, by NPR, I drove home, sat in a coffeehouse and wrote the below piece.

World Trade Center

I drive in in silence and search through the distance;
Gone are the Towers; I accept with resistance.
An emptying feeling of the cost to the nation.
Lady Liberty provides comfort, holding strong to her station.
The quiet consumes me and my thoughts reminisce.
Often taken for granted when I stood in their midst.
I discover me thinking of days when I’d passed
Through the walls and the walkways I had assumed ever last.
Now as I’m viewing from unnatural perch,
I look for some comfort in my harrowing search.
Yet nothing’s familiar in the ruins of steel,
Until finally I focus on one image that’s real.
At the base of the rubble lies a sidewalk alone.
Pictured, my memories of other days I had known.
I can now see the Towers standing proudly once more.
I turn with this vision from what my eyes so abhor.

Copyright SGW 2002

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