9/11 - May We Never Forget

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The only way I know how to grieve is to pray and to write.  In writing, I feel, I sense, I explore, I reflect and discover.  In writing, I remember.

Today is the day that is marked into our memories, that is forever relived in our minds.  Unlike other major defining historical events, it is usually referred to solely by its month and day and not its year — which means that we feel it more strongly when it comes around again every twelve months.  It becomes the present again and not simply something of the past.

9/11.  It's an example of cultural grief, of social pain on a level that united America together in rage, confusion, sorrow and prayer.  It can be difficult for an artist to use such a complex event for inspiration, but I believe that sometimes our only way of coping is through art, which is itself a way of commemorating.

But not only should we remember, we should also seek as best as we can to understand. Everyone who was personally impacted by 9/11 made choices that defined the event.  I've read much about the choices of the heroic firemen, many of whom gave their lives in sacrifice for others.  I've read about Todd Beamer, especially since I attend Wheaton College, and those on the hijacked planes.  But I've read very little about those in the towers and the decisions they made, whether to face the smoke or the open window.  That's probably because less is written, for how can we speak of the unspeakable?

Yet I pose you this question, as difficult and unsettling as it might be to you: Were the individuals in the towers heroes or victims?  And if they were heroes, then why?

My words are my thoughts and my poems are my way of coming to terms with something.  This is my poem for 9/11 and my hope is that it is raw, real, provoking and applicable.


Be my Ovid
Write me a metamorphosis.
Change me from this falling mass of a man
To a sparrow.
Let me glide on the gusts that sweep me downward.
Give me the wings of my father, O blessed oracle.
I am Icarus.
From the tower I leapt,
Freedom before the fall.
One final, finite finish,
One declaration to a sinking world
That no cage can hold me.
No walls of burnished metal, no burning envy,
No alien presence.
This is my hubris.
I take pride in my descent for
My work will come to triumph
But let me now be transformed.
My name will melt into obscurity — blame the sun.
Blame the sky that spit me into this oblivion.
Ten seconds of euphoric fear
Is all that I pay.
Judge not my choice.
You would have jumped, too.
Not for friend, not for enemy,
Only for you.

May God bless America.


You Might Also Like


  1. Wow. That was very profound -- both your post and your poem.

  2. Great poem, Ciera!