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September 11, 2001

September 11, 2015

 (The beginning of this poem was written on the morning of September 11, 2001, before knowledge of the hijackings. The remainder was written after hearing the news.)


Asleep with open windows,

brisk air greets morning eyes.

Outside, azure skies glisten

silvery dew on asparagus ferns

suspended like frost, crystallized.


Thistledown on daughter’s cheek,

“soft” she whispers.


Our cat Autumn catches up to us

like the season he’s named for.


The clarity, the stillness, crisp reality surrounds us.

Green fades slow yellow, slips into bronze.

Flowers are persistent

celosia magentas, meadows of goldenrod.

Summer heat settles, blows away with the leaves


dispersed by a breeze, the winds of change

swirled in unnoticed

until today, September 11, 2001.


I come inside from dew-soaked delight

and learn of the tragic attack.

Symbols crumble to the ground and

I flee to the forest with my daughter to feel

ancient stone, solid earth, something real,

to retain peace, my morning

so sacred an hour before but now unreal

amidst chaos trembling on TV,

plaster carnage, final farewells from the sky

this morning of azure sky,

where I breathe clear air, and rocks stay

in place, what is real

this morning, my morning

so different from the morning

of millions of persons,

not just in New York

but in Iraq, Columbia,

Afghanistan, Israel,

Palestine, Kashmir

around the globe

bombs and terror rain from blue skies


while I breathe cedar in serene forest

with my four-year old.


Am I a selfish escapist?

Or a mother maintaining “normalcy”?

A child obtaining simplicity?

An individual retaining peace amidst horror?  


I choose peace and reality of earth solidity

and simultaneously

recognize my privilege

in having that choice.


Despite international political uncertainty,

sun and moon still cycle,

nature persists through the smoke and

through the clouds, stars

find spaces to twinkle.


There is enough love and enough resources for all.

I call on world leaders to build a world that thrives,

and to stop using fear as an argument against justice.


Every person, each one of us

must stop demonizing

and terrorizing difference.


Raw, wild elements have mastered harmony.

I hold light around faith that humans will too.



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