Had a belly full
of boy
and a brother
at the Pentagon
the day the towers

were among those
who watched in
terrible technicolor
to see what
would happen next
gasping without breath
when the second one
disappeared before our
very eyes
for the phone to ring
watching the screen
unable to move as
ash rained down over
these two
erased places
my son
will never

Where were you on September 11, 2001? Please share with me, here.

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18 Responses to September

  1. ihatepoetry says:

    This was powerful and excellent. Below is where I was on 9/11. I wrote it at least six years ago, and it probably needs trimming, but you asked for it. 🙂 Moskowitz

    The Twin Towers Fell

    I couldn’t leave the woman
    I was with on September 10th.
    it was a life I had known
    and she needed me

    but I stopped needing her
    and I had left long before this
    only my things
    were all still there
    and my soul was crying
    to be released
    from the stranglehold
    of guilt and obligation.

    We shared a bed but
    were not intimate,
    we shared a life
    but were disconnected,
    we shared a house
    but were not married.

    She survived a lifetime of
    sexual abuse and trauma
    and those scars carved
    unbridgeable chasms
    in our life together
    and after seven years
    it had all become passionless
    and dutiful
    and I was cheating on her
    which only added to my guilt
    which fueled my obligation

    and though I could see the doorway
    to my liberation
    I was paralyzed
    by guilt and obligation.

    I knew I was leaving
    I just didn’t know when.

    It was a puzzle
    with an obvious painful solution
    but I vacillated
    and kept juggling
    just to see
    what would happen
    as my heart and soul
    went places that most people
    know better than to explore.

    The next morning
    an airplane flew into
    the World Trade Center.

    A tragic accident, I thought,

    then a second plane
    then a third at the Pentagon
    then a fourth destined
    for the White House

    and the world immediately seemed
    rocked from its axis
    hurtling, upside down
    chaotic twisted disorder.

    Shock and suspicion and confusion
    and the terrorists could be anywhere

    and life became threatened
    and nothing was certain
    and all the pieces in my
    puzzle of a life
    were shaken violently.

    I saw the quick and unforgivable
    nature of reality
    and my guilt and obligation
    seemed small and pointless,

    and the motorcycle I was riding
    in the fast lane
    after midnight
    with its lights off

    pulled over.

    I knew I wanted something else
    and I knew I wouldn’t find it
    in the places I used to hang

    so I decided to make a change

    and then the twin towers fell

    and one month to the day
    after September 11th

    I left her
    for the woman
    who was to become my wife.

  2. heatherdaygilbert says:

    Here was a little something I wrote last Sept:


    (Poem I wrote for Sept. 11, 2011)

    I will not watch the news today,

    To tell me what I cannot say.

    I saw those planes, one at a time,

    The buildings crumbled, lives inside.

    Why was my TV on that day?

    My mind recorded, so I play those

    Pictures over once again.

    I can’t explain it to my kids.

    All these years and fighting still,

    The sadness will go on, until I

    Try to see the good still left.

    The towers fell. God still has breath.

  3. The original Wes Magee poem was about the death of JFK as I’m sure you know…

    Where were you?
    … after Wes Magee

    Maria was dicing carrots
    nutters were flying to hell
    the smell of tar
    polluted the bar
    the day the towers fell

    Cats playing with a dead mouse
    hamburgers with relish as well
    hands on heart and head
    starting to count the dead
    the day the towers fell

    Half the world was sleeping
    news was starting to swell
    rattling cages
    that had stood for ages
    the day the towers fell

    Elton cried and wrote
    a witch cast a spell
    bells ringing out
    little boys shout
    the day the towers fell

    Bodies piling higher
    panic and fear to tell
    death and smoke
    an unholy joke
    the day the towers fell

    I remember my location
    and the phone´s ringing bell
    when out of the blue
    I suddenly knew
    the day the towers fell


  4. Shawna says:

    “Had a belly full of boy” and “two erased places” … Love those.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Thank you so much. What about you? Where were you that day? Quite a bit younger than me…did it hit you, emotionally?

      • Shawna says:

        I was at work. It was kind of surreal but I wouldn’t say it hit me emotionally. I watched other people getting upset, wondered if we’d be sent home from work, wandered around the building to see if I could find out more about what was going on. That’s really all I remember.

  5. My sweetie and I were set to fly, back to California from a visit with family in Madison & Milwaukee, one of whom was the head of the bond department for the Wisconsin State Investment Board, and because of that, was high up in a room of the Marriott in the first tower hit. We did not know for hours that he had been in a meeting on the first floor, saw the second hit, got covered in dust from the first fall, and somehow ended up in New Jersey. We stayed put, remembering the eerie silence of no planes, saw Bush senior, who got plopped on our property along with several Secret Service types, and who, amazingly enough, flew out to his paid lecture in Boston the next day, via National Guard. What I most recall is how blessed we were to be with family at that time, with friends of forever, and how lucky we were to have a great cat sitter in the desert.

  6. This is amazing, De! I love the long-ness of it, mirroring the shape of a building and I love belly full of boy!! I was working at “Big Top Deli,” when this happened, serving sandwiches of “Boar’s Head,” meat and cheeses. 🙂

    • So, I wanted to add that I felt a little anxious/scared about it at the time of the event but as years have passed the footage that I’ve seen of the people involved and the actual event has brought me to a place of feeling a deep sadness for the whole thing.

      • whimsygizmo says:

        Thank you, Hannah. And for sharing your story. Last year, when so much footage and so many specials were run for the 10-year anniversary, for some reason I tortured myself by watching a lot of it. I wept deep cleansing breaths, the kind that make your chest ragged, even after all these years…for all we lost that day, for all that’s changed since, for my kids, and what the future holds…and in gratitude that all I love most are still here, tangible and whole.

      • Oh, De! Your heart-felt words send goosebumps across my skin. You truly are a compassionate and beautifully-caring soul. Thank you for your heart in this sometimes sad and scary world. ❤

  7. dianadomino says:

    I was driving a carpool, my three kids, two neighbor kids, and I heard something on the radio chaos of the morning. Puzzled, I turned on NPR, thinking they will have something responsible on. I made the kids shut up, and listened, understanding the gravity immediately, but not realizing it was on purpose yet. Dropped the kids at school, and drove to work, transfixed. When I finally got out of the car, I felt in a dream. Went up to the office and found everyone who’d arrived so far in the conference room with a small TV, trying to find out what was going on. We sat there for a long time, and finally, our boss decided we needed to try and get some work done. We all went to our desks and turned on CNN online. (and that was the pattern for at least the next week, glued to our media sources.) No one was getting any work done. The courts had been closed. All flights had been grounded. I saw fighter jets fly over the skyscrapers of downtown Phoenix, where I worked. It was surreal. We left the office at noon. I went and picked up my kids from school. I didn’t want to let go of them for one minute–we huddled on the couch while I watched the news obsessively. Still feels surreal to think about it now.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Diana, I think “surreal” truly is the most perfect word for it. That second plane hitting, most of all, because it changed everything, in an instant. I was so thankful at the time that my world was somewhat small…by first baby still safe inside me. I remember wishing he could stay there for just a little while longer.

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