9/11

A poem about September 11, 2001


Where were you?
Grade Two –
Sitting with my back to the classroom door
In the group of desks closest to it, too.
I could hear our teacher speaking with the principal in the hallway;
I wouldn’t say I understood but
Bits and pieces,
But a word or two wound too tightly
Around my brain that morning.

“Attack” was one.
“Planecrash,” another.
“Twin Towers” were two.
“Calling parents” and “We’re safe” weren’t said together,
But I clung to those phrases
As if they had been.

11:33 a.m. Central Time –
It was a cloudless and sunny day
At Jackson Elementary School.
AttackAttackAttackAttackAttack…
I knew but still wondered why
Our teacher decided to draw the blinds.
CODE RED.

I think I’ve seen Red ever since
September 11th.
I won’t forget my parents pointing out
New York City
On the roadmap from the red Volvo’s glovebox.
I’ll always remember realizing that 2001
Was the first year of the New Millennium –
Forever.

I Pledge Allegiance,
To the Stars and Stripes,
To the People Who Stitch Them Together,
In This Nation Under God,
I Will Stand For the Broken,
I Will Kneel For the Wounded,
I Will Fight For the Sick,
And I Will Heal All That I Can,
In the Great Name of Justice:
Liberty.

Where are you Now?
Dubuque –
Standing with my back to the bay window,
Seeing Yellow.


by Kailey Ann

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