I go to New Jersey,

To a memorial for my aunt,

Where her two sons stood

In front of a room of people

And tried to say the words good and bye,

And where I watched my own mother,

Stand there and say, she was the best

Sister, and now I am driving north again,

In a car, with my brother,

Talking about things like

Children and school districts,

Because we are both adults

Now, with children of our own,

And because it is the only way

We know, right now, how to

Not talk about death.

There is traffic on these highways,

An end of the weekend grid lock,

My brother explains,

So we make a loop around the city,

Driving across the river from Battery Park,

Where I can see Ground Zero,

From another angle, the Freedom Tower,

Rising up, into the sky, where the bodies

Fell down that day,

Into a hole in the ground,

A depression that is still there,

My brother says,

How it is still there.

We cut through Staten Island,

And drive past miles and miles

Of city dump,

A place called the Fresh Kills Landfill,

And I know,

Even though I don’t say it, that this is

Where they took the debris from 9/11

And sorted through it,

How they found 4,000 pieces of human

Remains, arms and teeth and fingers or

How they buried the rest.

It is getting late now, and

By the time,

We cross over the state line,

From New York into Connecticut,

It is growing dark outside, and the

Headlights of cars drill into the night

Like holes,

And when I get home, it is after midnight,

And my two sons and my husband are asleep,

Their bodies rising and falling and filling

This house with breathing,

And I stand in the kitchen,

Where there is a seed catalog on the counter,

Left open to a page with peas and cucumbers

And corn.

And I walk to the window,

And look out, and I know,

Even though I cannot see it,

In this darkness,

There is a garden there,

Below me,

A hole full of dirt, where

Things will grow.

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1 Response to Memorial

  1. Thank you. This is a poignant and moving piece, which I greatly appreciated.

    The ripples from ‘that’ day spread very very far:

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