thoughts on 9/11

today is a day for remembering,
putting back together something broken;
a day of service,
but these hands can only make, not undo.  
we remember how accepting death
can be sacrifice, but murder
is the last blasphemy.
we remember lives taken
and some offered up freely
given time to choose exactly whose principles
to die for, theirs or the men’s with boxcutters

i call them all victims

i call them all heroes
except for the ones that woke
with suicide bomber resolve
threaded through morning routines;
patterns poisoned with the same logic
of men with assault weapons
opening fire on the street
before turning those guns
on themselves

i call them by name
a list written in blood, in salt,
in iron and smoke

what is a fit sacrifice?
in the end, that final analysis
we are all ghosts inside bodies.   choose how
and who to haunt carefully–
when nothing is held holy
what line is left to cross
but this, making ash
of the force that powers breath
and drives heart

they all died, hate

tearing from fingers this thing we grasp
as long as possible, breaking or stealing
the one commandment stamped inside flesh:

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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82 Responses to thoughts on 9/11

  1. Mama Zen says:

    This is what needs to be said.

  2. The Enfant Terrible says:

    A perceptive narrative of the impact which that day had on countless lives and it still does. A wonderful piece, as always! 🙂

  3. The Enfant Terrible says:

    Well, I do! Is there an ‘open mic’ session tonight in dverse?

  4. Green Speck says:

    Agree with your words !!!

  5. Pat Hatt says:

    Just put it out there and said what needs to be said. Wonderfully done.

  6. ihatepoetry says:

    This was magnificent, a word I don’t use often. I am humbled by your wisdom and talent. Thanks.

  7. Very deeply moving, for all the right reasons. Nothing in killing for any reason is ever right, no matter who the killer is. Hatred just breeds more hate and the cycle keeps repeating. They were victims of hatred, they were heroes, some of whom paid and are still paying a high price for their compassion an caring. One day all of mankind will answer to the prime creator, I know which side of good or evil I want to be on.
    As I said, deeply moving Susan.

  8. Blue Flute says:

    Ghosts that wander,
    Blood beneath the ground;
    We wonder
    Why there are so many
    And where… where did they go?

  9. markwindham says:

    very nice Susan, well done

  10. Myrna says:

    This is an exceptional poem. It is full of truth about love and hate, and false heroism. It is sad, but so well written. I loved it.

  11. Mary says:

    I wrote a 9/11 poem too. Just had to. I guess in a way we all choose the principles we would die for. It truly saddens me still that these men with box cutters killed so many people senselessly because of hate.

  12. kelly says:

    we are all ghosts inside bodies.
    yes. this.

  13. when nothing is held holy
    what line is left to cross
    but this, making ash

    There are no ways to see this day and not cry–and maybe, those tears are holy

  14. kaykuala says:

    Exhaustively treated,nice take Susan! The world is still reeling from the impact. A pity lots of sadness on innocents. The perpetrators are still around!


  15. brian miller says:

    there is wonderful wisdom in your words….one thing that struck me was the calling them by name…and i wonder if only we did that the impact it might make…to make it personal…

  16. C Rose says:

    Wonderful depth of reality strikes through your words. Its time…we are ready to live and that we must do now, live in the good of all and the whole of love. Send you blessings ~ Rose

  17. “in the end, that final analysis
    we are all ghosts inside bodies. choose how
    and who to haunt carefully–”

    Lovely. Wonderful write

  18. Susan, this is absolutely stunning. I read it again and again. Thank you so much for this powerful and eloquent piece. It means more than I can put into words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • Francesca–thank you! I think this is 11 years of reaction bottled into one poem, as I was in the midst of my block when we encountered 9/11/01. (I am so glad it reached you!

  19. ManicDdaily says:

    Choosing how and who to haunt is a very powerful idea. k.

  20. nelle says:

    So well done. *bows* I agree with every word.

  21. dani says:

    very powerful!

  22. Laurie Kolp says:

    Powerful and very touching.

  23. clawfish says:

    Susan you have achieved a wonderful piece here, with words that reach and are timeless

  24. I’ve been broken all week ~ hopefully I’ll mend, too.

  25. Truly powerful and moving. Well done, Susan.

  26. rmp says:

    beautifully spoken. ” choose how / and who to haunt carefully” an interesting line…I particularly like this stanza.

  27. Patricia chenayi nyandoro says:

    Despair, heart piercing pain , pain and more pain to try ańd fix heartless acts…

  28. Daydreamer says:

    what line is left to cross

    a very valid question… where does it end.

    Powerful, raw, and heartfelt

  29. Lindy Lee says:

    You make your reflections of 9/11’s massacre and other such abominations crystal clear…

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