manhattan, shanksville, baghdad

the morning starts quiet
waiting for me alongside instant coffee
and flecks of gold in the window
a chant lies in my memory
Manhattan, Shanksville, Baghdad
echoed by thousands
whose voices stretch out
through time and find themselves added
to the hum of girders creating shiny temples
graphite marble rising from meadows
the whisper of deserts
and the lilt the air makes amongst blooming poppy flowers
this is a morning where the chant
keeps me from watching news networks
because they could never re-live it
as i do today
Manhattan, Shanksville, Baghdad
it frames pictures of billowing smoke along the Hudson
reminds me of the tinge of terror
not hearing from my mother
until the end of the day
and praying my sister
outran the rubble
Manhattan, Shanksville, Baghdad
it speaks
not to governments and ideas
it speaks
not to religions and smart bombs
that have dumbed down reason and our own compassion
Manhattan, Shanksville, Baghdad
this quiet morning
this chant
is a requiem
for all those lives that ended
may the silence help us
possibly understand
why?

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