In Memoriam

I’ve reprinted this poem on 9.11 for a couple of years now. It never feels like something I have to do, but rather something I must – an ethic of necessity.

Ask me if I remember any of their far-away names,
those swallowed by that black September day.
I will say no, but I do remember hers.
 
She shook at the office door
to say ‘Something’s happened.’
We stepped to a room where screens
broadcast O beautiful’s scourge.
We stood quiet as image after image
eroded our shores of amber grain.
We strained against distance
but our bodies never touched;
ours was the more perfect union of loss.
She searched my eyes for purchase
but certainty had crumbled into the
sea shining with smoke and doubt.
 
 
Ask me if I remember any of their far-away names,
those raptured into spacious skies that September day.
I will say no, but I do remember her,
as I remember me, cast ready-or-not
further east of the garden.
I remember Ellen.

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5 Comments

  1. In Memoriam | A Modern Pilgrim's Journey on September 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    […] Posted on September 11, 2012 | Leave a comment In Memoriam. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in […]

  2. Diana Trautwein on September 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I remember Richard. Thank you, John.

  3. patriciaspreng on September 12, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I remember my sister and her daughter who saw the first crash from the deck of the Long Island ferry, then later were stuck in the stalled subway (two stops before the twin towers) and everyone wondering why. I remember. Thank you, John.

  4. patriciaspreng on September 12, 2012 at 2:23 am

    p.s. The birch trees are stunning.

  5. […] his blog. The guy is a really good writer. He writes a lot of poetry and even wrote a poem on the topic of 9/11. Being a New Yorker, I was especially touched by it, so we talked about that tragic day for quite […]

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