Vanished View

Vanished View

A poem's not the place
To recount the fire, the fear, the bodies plunging;
The hot ash falling, emptying forever
The hourglasses of the living and the dead.

A poem's not the place
To picture children praying in their mothers' arms,
Strangers comforting strangers, fathers touching numbers
And carving in the stony air a family's farewell.

It will never be the place
To dig into the filth and maggot-minds for motives;
Slaughtering the innocent, the weaponless
Who would never do the same to you or yours:
There are times when even God must blench and turn away.

But a poem is a place
To thank the ones who answered; facing what they faced,
Fearing what they feared, knowing what they knew--
Still they ran into the fire, giving all they had to give.

A poem is a place
To name the names, but there are far too many.
We'll write them in our hearts like lovers' letters on a tree,
Tell them to our children, and they to theirs, forever.

And, last, it is a place
To call to mind the Towers, martyred symbols of our freedom;
Attracting both the human and the camera's eye,
Climbing into heaven like a prayer. A letter sent--
And answered by a billion flags riding on the wind.

Vanished View by Judy Schilling

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