Nine-eleven

They stood so tall – above it all,

Aloof – even above the Lady’s torch

Beyond the ken of ordinary men

It seemed – until… death came down.

A scimitar sweep of jetcraft wings

And fire’s red-gold blossom

Brings us shock beyond any we can bear.

And then again! Ah, God – it cannot be!

 

People leap – embracing quicker death –

Or run in smoke and flame

Terror at their heels – and in their eyes:

Anguish – disbelief and agony.

And Mommy called us from the plane

To say she loves us, and she’ll miss us,

But she won’t be home again.

How do you tell them that?

 

And then – the horror beyond all else –

Unprepared, we saw them fall.

Their deaths like rewound film in parody

Of their steady upward birth.

They fell – inward – down and down

Compacting into chaos

At ever-rising speed – obscured at last

By blessed clouds of smoke and dust.

 

God, if you are truly Allah too

How could they think that this

Is what you ask of them to bring to us

In retribution for real and imagined harm?

They cannot be so foolish as to think

That this will make us change

Our thoughts and hearts and then embrace, or accede to their cause.

 

There is no cause – no purpose here

Except to teach us fear and pain –

And, oh, we have learned it well.

Anger blooms with every replay

Of the deed, and hatred comes

In waves, and we know that we will kill,

And retribution will be swift and large.

Someone has to die for this – a lot!

 

But is that not what started this?

Retribution – righting wrongs – justice

In the name of God and loved ones

Now and long since dead?

Will we not swing the scythe around

And start again this horrid dance of death?

But then again, dare we not? Dare we let this deed go unpunished but by God?

 

There are no right answers here, but…

Oh, God! They stood so tall –

And we all… saw them fall.