Today, on 9/11, I always take a tour around the Internet, searching for a poem of mine. It was published first on the poet Sam Hamill’s “Poets Against the War” website, but then was copied by various strangers to their own sites. I should have been upset about the unauthorized postings, perhaps, but then I gradually realized that the poem had a life of its own among others who had chosen it, and I let it be. A couple of times, I asked the posters to add my name, so it did not go unattributed. I did not ask them to take it down, because it seemed to me the poem was doing its work. Isn’t it true that all our words, once released, have a life of their own, one we’re not necessarily part of, one we cannot control, existing somewhere between our mind and the minds of those who receive them?

Well, today, I found the poem again, out there on the ’Net, living its life. I thought perhaps I would also give it a home on my blog, too.

Thanks to the Universe for bringing us through thus far. Prayers and tears for those who could not come with us to this new day. Many thanks for the heroes among us.


Watching the video for the thousandth time,
to see if you hesitated, even for a second,
I  ask, Tell me, how does one become a weapon?

How arcs a human like a speeding plane,
beyond flesh, not beyond sound, outpacing 
fear, desire, the upraised palm of compassion?

Were your hands steady on the controls?
Did you cry out in ecstasy, or in pain?
Feeling the impact like bones sucked clean

was there an instant of wonder?
Was your mother in your thoughts?
(They say the dying always cry out for their mothers)

Or were you thinking of the mother behind you,
how she clutched her child to her chest
as you would clasp a bomb?

And your own mother, did she spend the day watching the sky,
waiting for word of your certain death?
Or did she cook all day, lips tightened against the memory

of your head cradled against her chest?
Perhaps her thoughts were bent on those still around her table?
That night, did she suckle you in her dreams,

and did you turn into a tiger at her breast?
Where were you then––not before,
tasting a last sweet syrup of coffee, nor later

in your version of heaven, but then,
at that first second of hereafter?
Did you see what you expected to see?

Be well. When you can, please choose peace.


3 responses to “Remembering”

  1. geschichtenundmeer Avatar

    In 2003, I tried to write a short story, imagining the thoughts of a terrorist steering his plane towards the twin towers. Thank you for writing what I could not write.


  2. Glenda Bailey-Mershon Avatar

    Thank you so much for reading it. Masha Hamilton wrote a great novel about a young man training to be a suicide bomber, called 31 Hours. I was amazed by her ability to put herself in his shoes,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] wird ein Mensch zur Waffe? fragt sich Glenda […]


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