POETRY

Never Forget

A Poem for 9/11 and Every Day After

Photo by Julian Santa Ana on Unsplash

NEVER FORGET the moment the phone rang,
You answered with little 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.

Never forget to honor the fallen,
Taken without a goodbye,
Never forget the who, what, and where,
Even without a real why.

Never forget our friends and our neighbors,
Who left us too soon and too fast,
And never forget that on that fall morning,
That’s now nearly twenty years past,

That we searched, and we looked,
And we warmed, and we cooked,
We carried, we lifted, we paced,
And when it was over,
We gathered together,
And opened our arms and embraced.

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,

United we stood,
Together we joined,
We were so much more than red-blue.

You held me up,
My fellow American,
And I held you.

____

Read more from Julio Vincent Gambuto. Follow for his weekly column and visit www.juliovincent.com.

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Where the personal, pandemic and the political meet // juliovincent.com • @juliovincent

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