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Raw 9/11/2001 WTC Memorial Poem: YOU DIED

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A raw memorial poem I wrote in NYC in 2001 immediately after destruction of the World Trade Center & the slaughter of 4,000:

YOU DIED.

My heart is ripped open.
Gouged open.
I am in shock.
I am grief.

* * * * * * * * * * *

My brain is pounding pounding
My pulse is crazed
Everything is askew
Empty
Whirling
Gasping breathless.
I’m spinning.
Who will catch me?
What can heal me?
What is real?
Where are you now?

* * * * * * * * * * *

No words to cry.
No one to hear me.
No way to cry.
My blood runs away.
Painfully sweet.
My pain flows like warm honey
Into your hive.
Into my full memories of you.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Incredible loss.
Horrific waste.
No comprehension.
I will never see you again?
Impossible.
My heart recoils at the thought
Like a gunshot aimed
In a terribly
Insanely
Wrong direction.
Look, I’ll prove it.
With my eyes closed tight right now,
I can still see you . . .

* * * * * * * * * * *

Life.
Slowly.
Flows.
Back.
Into my wretched heart.
Heals it like a
Long-vanished ocean tide
Returning to bathe crusted shores
To wash away my grief.
I am so grateful to you.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I can feel you grinning with relief.
At me.
You live in stunning new dimensions.
You see me finally
Waking up.
And.
Breathing.
Deeply.
On my side of the ripped veil.
We are both going to be
Okay.
In the morning, my tears taste
Good.

* * * * * * * * * * *


Bloody History of this Raw Memorial Poem

These few words about slaughtered friends,
about unexpected sacrifices, losses, grief and redemption
at NYC’s World Trade Center and across America
were written one gray morning after September 11, 2001.

Pinned to the sagging wire fence at Union Square Park–

surrounded by heaps of sad flowers taped to hopeful notes
pleading for any word of the whereabouts of loved ones lost in the confusion–

lit by nearby pools of candles burning in memoriam over smiling family photos of the doomed–

abandoned to the elements just a stone’s throw from the Dalai Lama’s
scale model of the Twin Towers wreathed in carnations and tears–

half hidden next to park visitors’ unforgettable words and pictures of anguish,
anger, prayer and pleading scrawled on a giant public paper canvas taped around all the paths–

two weeks later to be rolled up & shipped to the Smithsonian for what?
for safekeeping?–

my simple words lost in the miserable maze heaped
below the 145 year old gray equestrian statue of Washington
inscribed in bold chalk letters with the message PEACE NOT WAR–

this little memorial poem somehow got scooped up & quoted
on sites dotting the countryside, such as
Tulsa World.

Is it all just about luck?
About the Divine Hand?
About when it’s your time to go, you go?

By the grace of unseen guidance I and so many others survived.
Others did not.
We still remember them.

The blessings and lessons of our lives go on.

Scott Ufford
Spiritualist minister
Copyright 2001, 2011