Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago Today

My Friend J. emailed this poem to me this morning. I thought it was beautiful. Get out your tissues.

Poem: "For the Falling Man" by Annie Farnsworth from Bodies of Water, Bodies of Light. © Annie Farnsworth.

For the Falling Man

I see you again and again
tumbling out of the sky,
in your slate-grey suit and pressed white shirt.
At first I thought you were debris
from the explosion, maybe gray plaster wall
or fuselage but then I realized
that people were leaping.
I know who you are, I know
there's more to you than just this image
on the news, this ragdoll plummeting—
I know you were someone's lover, husband,
daddy. Last night you read stories
to your children, tucked them in, then curled into sleep
next to your wife. Perhaps there was small
sleepy talk of the future. Then,
before your morning coffee had cooled
you'd come to this; a choice between fire
or falling.
How feeble these words, billowing
in this aftermath, how ineffectual
this utterance of sorrow. We can see plainly
it's hopeless, even as the words trail from our mouths
—but we can't help ourselves—how I wish
we could trade them for something
that could really have caught you.

2 comments:

froggyaunt said...

Can you say "Beautiful" to this? I guess instead I will choose to say "True". This poem is a picture of all mankind. It does not take a Trade Center explosion. Men throwing themselves to their deaths or men standing where they are and dying is the reality of all men apart from God. If we could only see reality just as we see the Trade Center videos.

I read an editorial in response to 9/11 this week in which the woman said she still believed in the inherent goodness of mankind. I ask what will it take, how much more evil must we see or experience before we believe the truth? Man was created in God's image but rejected God and chose his own way. 9/11 only shows us in graphic detail what God has told us all along.

Our only hope is to agree with God. That is what will catch us. That is what caught me. FA

Mieke said...

Life is so fragile. This year Sept. 11th hit me hard. It knocked me on my ass and sent me to bed. I sobbed and sobbed -more accurately howled. It's just too painful to think about. Too painful to remember. Last year it wasn't as bad, I think, because I made certain not to look too closely. It must have been because it's five years that I was still and took the time to really remember. The flames, the terror, the fear, the three friends who joined hands and jumped together. The man who plunged head-first arms at his side with so much grace. This year I remembered and it ripped my heart out just as it did the day it happened.