WTC 2011

This is in part a response to Joanna’s recent post The Shroud.

Those gaping holes
At the bottom of that pit
I look down
42 flights up
2,752 souls lost
In the blaze of an instant
A tragedy and a horror
Endless black pools
Any resurrection here?
Redemption or only darkness?
A tragedy tucked away
For 10 years
In the recesses of my mind
I see it now
In full force
A war zone under reconstruction
I am flattened by the sadness
As though my heart were one of those towers
Leveled by the blow

Yet in 3 days I can cope
I stop thinking about those lost lives
I don’t think about the shadow
As I push my way from hotel to office
Office back to hotel
Through the crushing downtown crowds
Past construction fences
I become one of the numb
One of the forgetful

That is how we move on
How we cope
We tuck away our tragedies
Our genocides, our holocausts
Our deaths, our acts of terror
Our losses great and small

We move on and build upwards
Telling ourselves it won’t happen again
Knowing it could
Knowing too we will survive it
Because we have before
Spirit indomitable, forgetful

What choice do we have
But to follow the life force that
Animates our bodies
We keep moving
Taking the joys with the blows
We keep going
Holding gently
To shredded moments of peace
When we can

 © Jill Joy


  1. W Hunter Blair

    I come late to comment Jill but I love this poem. The swing of emotions is so that I am caught up in them. Wonderful!!!!

  2. Jill Joy

    Thanks for your comments and thanks to Jackie for posting. I was so taken by Joanna’s Galaxy posts I had to send this over to be posted here. I realize in some respects it may have seemed callous at that turning point from being so overwhelmed by grief to becoming numb to it and beginning to cope. I was struck by how deeply shaken I was to be hovering over ground zero. when I arrived back in NYC from San Diego where I live, feeling so decimated for a couple of day only to find myself able to sequester those feelings away and get on with the business of life I had to accomplish there. It’s like a metaphor for New York City itself…so completely overwhelming and yet after a few days you get swept up in the flow and forget how crazy it is.

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