My poem “The Wind Over Ground Zero, NYC” is appearing in Pot Luck Magazine‘s Winter 2010 issue. I very much enjoyed the other work in this issue, particularly “This Far Away From Home” by R.M. Gramstad, “Sarah Palin” by James Stewart, “Solitude” by Robert Fruend, and “Take a Bite” by Amanda Guyton. The magazine is print-only— here’s how to get your own copy.
The Wind Over Ground Zero, NYC
I am among the myriad that surge into work each day
on a train that wends through the canyon called Ground Zero,
a place where solemn anger remains.
The screech of steel wheels jerks alert
the bobbing heads slumbering through this daily ride.
They have not lost the import of this place,
but their lives go on, while gusts of construction dust
stir upward from trundling trucks moving earth and metal,
and from the anthills of workers who realize, day by day,
what took minutes to destroy will take decades to rebuild.
I ask a cop at the site’s edge if he sees much progress.
He doesn’t look at me; just watches the street, and mutters,
“I check in seldom, so I don’t get numb.”
He shrugs. “I hope it’s not all in vain;
I hope we don’t get hit again the day it opens…
although, there’s one good thing.” He faces me.
“I’ll never look at the news of other countries,
torn apart like this one, quite the same.”
The wind here never leaves.
It whips up the raw and fractured memories
of tumbling buildings and chaos.
It comes especially in September when sturdy blue skies
return to fill up the empty shafts of space
where those monumental structures and many lives
looked down at the earth, once more, before they blew away
leaving volumes of sorrow and this relentless swirling air
to churn up the powdery leaves and scraps of debris
and the legions of unprepared souls
who were cast like sand across a page of history
and who now long for the rest of their days.
Their silence persists amid these shocks of wind
that toss madly the tops of trees,
as if a force we have yet to reckon with
is shaking its head with rage
wrought from grave misgivings
over what we have become:
so unfinished, so overwhelmed
by our own puzzling maze of promise
and its companion, broken faith,
that we struggle and thrash to find our way
inflicting, as we flounder, torrents of blood and pain.