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Contributor Series 1: 9/11, Threnody for the Survivors of September 11, 2001

09.13.09 Posted in Contributor Series 1, today's words by

Contributor Series 1: 9/11
Threnody for the Survivors of September 11, 2001
By Ray Sharp
(written September 2009)

The angel of death flew on silver wings.
Strange solitary birds clad in dark feathers
Tumbled through the bright blue sky.

A blizzard of confetti–scraps of lives
Torn asunder–swirled on air currents stirred
By three thousand souls, or by their absence.

Tall towers slumped and crashed earthward,
Their steel bones and skin of glass melted and
Crushed by the inevitability of gravity that pulls

Us to the grave. Now, eight years hence,
The rescuers who breathed the fine particles
Of pulvered lives are falling to the same rare cancer

I came to know when it took my father two years ago.
Were the silent seeds of sickness already
Planted in him so far away on that fateful day?

I scattered my father’s ashes on a desert hilltop
To which I may never return. In wind and rain
And blazing heat they will join with the soil

That gives life anew. In living there comes pain
And grief, but in death may we find comfort.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Ray Sharp’s poetry [Under an August Moon, ( ), Clavicle, and Sternwheeler] has appeared in vox poetica in 2009.

2 Responses to “Contributor Series 1: 9/11, Threnody for the Survivors of September 11, 2001”

  1. Rae says:

    This poem makes great use of line breaks to carry its tension, which peaks in the phrase “…or by their absence” and resolves through verb choice and pacing into the final stanza. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Bobbie Troy says:

    Great imagery, Ray. I love it.

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