For September 11, 2021

I am sharing here my contribution, written in September 2001, for Images From Ruin ­– Poems and Art Inspired by the Events of September 11th, 2001published by The Poetry Society of New Hampshire, 2002 … and then responding to it from September 11, 2021.

Humane Society
Poem written after learning that the search and rescue dogs brought to New York are given a living person to find every evening.

We want to find something alive
in the rubble.
We want rescue
or resurrection,
we want to wag our hearts,
to hope,
to pant after the long exertion
of searching
the September news ­–

like the dogs
trained to follow children
down deep ravines, into cave-ins,
over wooded hillsides,
trained to lead home gently
the wandering elderly,
trained to
find the lost.

Our talents ache
at encountering this
long tragedy.
We don’t want to let the lost lie.
We don’t want
to pick up the pieces.

We want to find something alive.


Lost and Found September 11, 2021

I’m sorry I asked twenty years ago
about what we would find
in the ruins,

because “We will remember,”
seems to be the common answer and,
though a patriotic phrase,
it is exactly avoiding
the search for
a new way to be in the world.

My town, too, has a piece
of the World Trade Towers,
where I can go
and grieve
any day but the anniversary.

We found, what we did not want –
an endless war,
a holocaust of gun tragedies,
a global pandemic,
the destruction
of earth and seas and air.

But let me return to dogs –
for them, you know,
long years don’t matter,
if courage for climbing the stairs
in my house
is any evidence,
and ‘why-were-you-gone-so-long-eyes’
are so real, but vanish
the minute the screen door
is completely open.

There are so many still alive
that need finding,
so, for the sake
of those we remember,
and all the sorrows
pinned under the stones of these years

may the rescue begin.

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13 Responses to For September 11, 2021

  1. dabar96 says:

    Oh, yes, those
    ‘why-were-you-gone-so-long-eyes’
    that vanish
    the minute the screen door
    is completely open. are waiting to lead us to love!

  2. Jessica McArdle says:

    Yes, let us continue to search for the living and are in desperate need of being found…just as we are.

  3. Linda Wygant says:

    Amen and amen. Thank you.

  4. David Roe says:

    Thank you, Maren.

  5. Janeen Adil says:

    Oh, my heart. Thank you, Maren.

  6. beegood1 says:

    So sad 😞🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  7. Thanks Maren. The day brings many memories, from so many experiences of the day and all the repercussions since.

    • Maren says:

      Yes, from personal losses to relief (my friend had taken the day off work at the World Trade Towers) to all that has happened since it is a symbol for an era.

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