Posts Tagged ‘Painting: American Bald Eagle’

“9-11”, A Memorial Poem.

September 10, 2013


"Eagle" Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2005

Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2009

“This world of dew

is a world of dew,

and yet, and yet…”

—–Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)




That beautiful morning,

A teasing taste of early Autumn-

The unthinkable happened

And our world stopped turning.

I saw the plane, I saw the fire

I saw the smoke descend like

A blanket of blinding grief

Too late to spare those on the ground

The sight of Armageddon.



Mortar-grey people transformed

Into gritty moving statues,

Holding hands, blinded by smoke,

Move down streets where

Paper, bricks, metal, glass rained down

Like the Devil’s Ticket Parade,

Walked in silence towards the bridges,

Barely a moan I am told,

An Exodus unexpected on this

Morning of such seasonal promise.


I saw worse.

I saw people jump

From the ledges, holding hands,

Some with briefcases

And all I could do

Was howl:


“I will catch you!

Jump into my arms

I will not drop you.

Do not be afraid,

Aim for my embracing arms,

With the last of my life—

I will catch you.”


That day of fire and ash,

Inexplicable funeral pyre,

Of brave souls rushing in

And frightened souls rushing out

And the ash, the ash, the ash,

Covered everything like a silent September snow.


Eleven years later

Grieving when this day approaches,

I hear the words well up in me:


“We will catch you!

Jump into our arms,

We will not drop you.

You will not be forgotten,

With the last of our breath–

We will catch you.”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011-2013 

This poem dedicated to my 100 year old Aunt Jean, the Light of my Life.


%d bloggers like this: