Then - a hole! Gaping! Black! Smoking! And frightful!
Plunged through the Symbol of money and might.
Black smoke and flames and people on ledges,
sirens, alarms, flail unheeding senses.
Sweat streaming cops running blocks to assist them,
N.Y.F.D. One arrives double strength.
Into the building race scores of responders;
few thoughts of their own lives; “just doing my job”.
Move it!! Let’s go here!! This way!! Now move!!
Forget that dropped laptop!! Get your ass on the street!!
Brooklyn and Queens order dazed titans out,
Pulling them, lifting them, saving their lives.
The Symbol starts rumbling, down from its top,
imploding its concrete its steel and its soul.
Files and desks and panels and people
crumble and fragment and plunge floor through floor.
We TV voyeurs are riveted to an
upside down mushroom cloud slow motioning down.
Dust and debris which were computers and people,
descend on the street in nightmare slow motion.
Inside in a hellhole are rescuers martyred,
the lucky extinguished unwarned and unknowing,
most others trapped gagging, life slowly crushed out.
The Symbol now surreal, a moonscape to dread.
Battered survivors return to attack
the rubble that covers their family – their peers.
Gray knights in gray armor, who choke back their sobs,
attack tons of rubble, bare handed, steel-willed.
Some day a Phoenix will rise from these ashes,
Hard taught and wiser, more powerful still.
But today we grieve - and mourn - for our kindred.
And pray that we can learn that we are all one.