Thursday, September 11, 2008
"If they are rebuilt, I will dance across again. I will dance across and people will look at the sky and they will believe again that mountains can move. They can move, you know. I have seen it."
Edited: I tried so hard to be minimalist here, but I think simple eloquence will after all elude me. It's a sad day here in Brooklyn, NY. Still there's a visceral memory of fear and pain. I feel that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach, that one does on the anniversary of something terrible. It was such an awful day, and now seven years later it's just a fragmented jumble--we didn't know then what was happening, or what was going to happen--my sister, at work near the Twin Towers, saw it happen from a window of her classroom--there was a confused cell phone call, in which I advised her to "catch a cab" home, not really understanding--instead she made it to the Williamsburg Bridge just ahead of the debris cloud, and ran across it--I remember our relief when the first military fighter jets flew over Manhattan--and that day and the next days I was home alone with baby Hedgie while Sarge worked round the clock, napping on cots when he could--and that night I camped out on the living room floor and listened to the unearthly quiet outside, like the whole world had died--later, walking in the city with my friend, the heart-stopping sight of the hundreds of missing persons fliers posted outside the New York Armory by family and friends, looking for lost loved ones who were by then all, every single one of them, ghosts...
Dear New York City, I'm still so sorry--dear secretaries and kitchen workers and lawyers and flight attendants--
and dear front line workers and soldiers, those in some cases unwilling and unwitting heroes:
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries
These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.