September 12, 2012

I remember

I remember
the phone call
my mother in an airport in New Orleans
Turn on the news
Airplanes have flown into the Twin Towers

and thinking: Airplanes?
More than one?
and knowing
it was no accident

I remember
thinking
I hope they put those fires out soon
it just keeps burning

I remember
Peter Jennings
his voice cracking, once,
as he said he’d called his children while the camera wasn’t on him
and you should, too

I remember
the crystal autumn sky
the black smear along the horizon
that used to be
the World Trade Center

I remember
the empty sky
the silent empty sky
I never saw or heard before
and never saw or heard again

I remember
no commercials
no shows
only people
talking
trying to understand

I remember
Is your family OK?
Is your company OK?
Is everyone you know OK?
Are you OK?
OK
OK

I remember
the fragility
the stripped-naked truth that
it could have been any of us
it could have been all of us
it was all of us
we were all attacked
we were all the target
we all stood in the crosshairs together
so
what did our differences matter anymore?
How could we not be
one people
forevermore?
With such
unity
identity
empathy
how could we not become a better world?

I remember
the moral imperative of a five-year-old
when we wrote a card to the local Islamic Society
with a message of peace and support
and our son asked to write his own
and he wrote

We should all hold hands because our hearts are full of love.

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