Friday, September 10, 2010

Newsroom, 9/11/2001

Rather than writing a full commentary on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks nine years ago, I want to offer you a poem I came up with last year at the writers' conference I attend every year.

The story of the millennium, not even ten months old.

Instantly the space became a New World wing of Madame Tussaud's, everyone -- everyone -- staring at the TVs, in shock.

We made phone calls, tried to write --

But what did it matter? We knew something had fundamentally changed.

At the end of the day we stepped into nuclear winter, a city completely deserted, as if a giant vacuum had sucked all the life out of it, the rays of the setting sun going everywhere and nowhere at once -- as if it too was confused.

Everyone had already gone home -- except us, of course. We were compelled to stay, to see this through.

You see, as we watched and re-watched replays of the planes hitting the Towers we instinctively knew what that meant.

Our role, for the next few weeks and beyond, would be to make sense of the horror that had befallen us.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Rainbow said it best in their Song "Can't Happen Here" ; " All that you fear telling you ,Kid, Can't happen here." I hear it every day . Wishful thinker , Positively confessing Faith Teachers, newwsmen : I watched with the sound off ( as my wife readied for work ) . Dozens of times as it replayed the same 30 minutes ; as it interupted Bloombeg TVs economic report .My mind thought it was a movie clip : but, this time it was not . And for the years since , I have heard those who already made up their minds , subjectively say, " Kid , Can't happen here ". Ths Kid now 51, has watched it happen here since with open eyes I have watched it happen here.