Sunday, September 11, 2011

seven years, written in 2008

seven years

This year will be seven years on September 11th
Not as momentous as five was
As fresh as one
As strangely distant as two

I won’t re-fan the flames
Spark the ferocious burning memory
Or even blame the clearly incompetent military strategies of our
Leaders proved liars and thieves
When I think back, I remember the days, one by one
And I go back, thinking about seven

I found out there was life in my womb
on the seventh of April
and he was born on the seventh of December
in the year 2005, they tell me,
but in the Mexica calendar
it was year seven Toxtli, rabbit
and day seven Atl, water
and so the number seven has always been special to my son
so to me too

and when i crawl into the women’s new moon lodge,
first we bring in the seven stones, for the seven directions,
north, south, east, west, above, below, within,
and this opens the door for much more

I remember the days, step by step
my walk to work with a charcoal gray cloud
rising through the Brooklyn air
and me, without TV,
imagining a bad factory fire in my borough
I heard the news from a human being
as we all scrambled around our social service agency in Bed Stuy
then walked our ways home through the static streets

I wandered in, then out of my 3rd floor brownstone apartment,
onto the street, seeking human contact
I walked miles, to the park in Fort Green
Where over the billboard of Foxy Brown, we
all we strangers, with dogs, babies, skateboards, journals,
sat to see the sun set through the still swirling smoke
we now knew was ash
and no one ran off to do something
like the usual city strangers
we just sat, seven years ago

Activist and author Jeremy Glick,
had his mic turned off on Bill O’Reilly’s show,
after being told repeatedly to “shut up”
When he calmly defended his anti-war stance
though his father, working for Port Authority, died in the attacks

The empath who had to leave the city
After hearing all the wailing hearts
as she walked past peoples’ homes in Manhattan

so when the seventh time around hits us
I’ll remember the monumental degradation
no longer shoved in my face by TV news
feeding numbed consumers like strip malls
the political process investigations and
secret detentions that were left behind
by the newer horrors of war
I’ll remember to vote Democrat, and pray
and do my best to remember the people and stories
behind the massive cliché.