A Poem for Today, 9/11

Julio Vincent Gambuto
2 min readSep 11
Photo by Aaron Lee on Unsplash

This is a re-post. I post this poem every year for 9/11, in remembrance of the neighbors and friends we lost here in New York City.

NEVER FORGET the moment the phone rang,
You answered with so much to lose,
Never forget the confusion, the “huh?”
The yelling to “Turn on the news.”

Never forget the staring right at it,
That image that made zero sense,
Never forget the shocked disbelief,
How your body was suddenly tense.

Never forget searching the sky,
For floors that used to be standing,
Never forget the fleeing, the running,
The leaping, the falling, the landing.

Never forget the waiting, the waiting,
The deeply insufferable waiting.
Who was inside? And who has returned?
The horrible heart-fucking waiting.

Never forget that your flip phone was useless,
And you walked over bridges on foot,
Never forget the smoke in the air,
The plume, and the ash, and the soot.

Never forget on Sept 11th,
That you and I were both one,
Never forget that on that fall morning,
Under the warmth of that sun,

Divided we weren’t,
We weren’t at odds,
We weren’t right red and left blue.

It was just me,
An American,
And you.

Police weren’t evil,
News wasn’t fake,
The press wasn’t enemy one,
When horror descended,
And our chests were ripped open,
You and I weren’t undone.

We were a country,
We were a people,
We were a hit nation hurt,
But we banded together,
To sweep the debris,
And to search our way through the dirt.

Julio Vincent Gambuto

Author of “Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!” from Avid Reader Press at Simon & Schuster // Now available in US and UK // juliovincent.com