I remember the stillness that struck the class
As words and tears spread.
In each room, the usually mute television
Flickered on, displaying smoke and rubble,
Distant planes, and growing fears.
The school day went on with
Hushed voices and joined hands.
I can still see the space behind the fence
Scarred and torn with gaping holes and battered piles.
A gap in the bustling movement,
An instant’s silence in the city’s noise.
Even with the metal fence against my hands,
It didn’t seem quite real.
The pictures hung on display
Proved that it was.
Now, even less real the video of the new construction –
An architect’s dream of museum and memory
Of what the city was –
More importantly, who was.
Those lost, those who lost them,
And those who searched.
A tragedy remembered
Not for its city
But for the people.
Today, may there be
Hushed voices and joined hands:
An instant’s silence
For the people.