September 11, 2001

Ed was lucky
on the day his luck ran out.
Holding his cup to his lips,
he was savoring the flavor, savoring the day,
and didn't really have time to
feel the airliner ram
into his office
with thunder-clash swiftness.

* * *

Alice was lucky
on that day.
Terrified, bleeding, dazed,
she was running
(but mostly stumbling)
away from the building.
Then she fell and just lay there.
Two strangers...
their own eyes wide in fear,
their own faces stricken with panic,
their own bodies screaming for flight
...picked Alice up and
carried her to a place
away from the
ready-to-plunge building.

* * *

Hank was lucky
on that day.
The hijacked plane that
was heading for where he was
didn't make it.
Its passengers had risen up
in great courage and spirit
to stop the terrorists,
to stop more carnage,
at the ultimate self-cost.
Because of them, Hank was not
force-plastered to a wall,
that then disintegrated,
that then flashed in fire.

* * *

In my head
I can see Ed's oblivious oblivion;
I can see Alice, safe but scarred;
I can see Hank, home hugging his children.

I can see that plane's damnable impact.
And I will again
a thousand times more.

Harry W. Yeatts Jr.
September 2001