To an unknown human falling

I am offering a short souvenir and a poem for the 9/11 commemorative section. I wrote the poem the next day, September 12, 2001, when I ...

I am offering a short souvenir and a poem for the 9/11 commemorative section. I wrote the poem the next day, September 12, 2001, when I saw a photo on the front page of the New York Times showing a person upside down who had jumped off one of the towers. I couldn’t stop staring at the photo.

The headmaster of Northampton High School has ordered all televisions shut down until further notice. However, a number of teachers with televisions in their bedrooms kept them, along with the new pictures and comments. Northampton High School had a fairly spirited and independent staff so some teachers continued to show and discuss footage of the incident over and over again.

I see you jump from the flaming tower.

You jack-knife, freeze in the air by camera,

Tucked away, apparently so disciplined and polite.

As you dive in, what makes your heart and brain soar?

Do you remember your mother making breakfast

Or your child screams in the night?

Make yourself triumphs – first breaths held underwater

Or, quite simply, the quiet walks on Sunday afternoon?

Do sudden fleets of seagulls cushion you,

Take you to a warm and safe haven of peace?

Where do you see Buddha, Allah, Jesus

Whose broad embrace carries you to safety

Before the impending concrete arrives and the air ends?

I wish thousands outstretched, coming together, arms tied

To form an impromptu human trampoline

To make you bounce back from death. And i wish

Angel firefighters aimed at cloud pipes

Whose waterfalls could drown fires.

I wish myself and a million others

Could lift up the rubble, wipe away the soot,

Rock your crushed body and, as you bend down, breathe

On your lips, and bring you back to life.

Ernie Brill


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Newsrust - US Top News: To an unknown human falling
To an unknown human falling
Newsrust - US Top News
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