(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,
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
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.