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This Tribute was provided by Julia Whitaker:
911 poem for year anniversary


I have lost nothing.
So how can I be missing something?
The freedom that soared
pure and powerful, yesterday,
crashed to earth in the inferno
that consumed safety and innocence
and severed thousands of futures.
Straight towers
twisting tumbling bodies
broken wings
they fall-
so small, so heavy.

The ground shuddered under that weight
and the sky went dark
and wept ashes.
Something is broken.
We will put it back together
but it will not, cannot, be the same.

I look at a world askew
through shattered glass.
It is different than it was yesterday.
Something is gone.
There is a lack,
a hole,
an empty space.

But I have lost nothing.
I have no wounds.
I am not injured.
So how can it hurt?
Where is the pain
that squeezes out these sympathetic tears?
There is no injury.
How can I be bleeding?
Red blood
black sky
gray world.
Something is lost.

I watch from a distance
that diminishes as I watch.
My tears belong to someone else.
They will not put out the fires
or wash away the blood.
We are choked on ashes.
We see them, breathe them,
taste them, wear them.
It is all ashes now.

We have lost something-
irretrievable, irreplaceable.
All that they might have been.
How can I not weep?

I have lost nothing.
I do not know why I am crying.
The tumbling bodies
the burnt bodies
the buried rescuers
the bleeding survivors
the grieving survivors-
they do not belong to me.

And yet, they do.
They were ours.
And we have lost them.
Even with my eyes closed,
I cannot stop seeing them,
must not stop seeing them.

I have not suffered.
But I have lost something.
I will give what I can.
I cry for the missing peace.
My tears are recognition
and remembrance.
We will never forget.

I wrote this 2 days after 9/11/01, and have held on to it until now.  But, now, a year later, I had to say it somewhere.  New York, DC, Pennsylvania- we will always remember.

Julia Whitaker

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