About Today

We passed the flags flying halfway up. Waves of people walked alongside us. Some found themselves caught in sudden bursts of empathy, while others never even gave a glance. The flags carried on regardless.

Ten years since it happened. Ten more birthdays for my stepfather. Ten more anniversaries of the day that my grandparents wed — no longer a celebration of their moment, but now the deepest part of the deepest hole where my grandfather buries his loneliness.

September 11 is many things to many people. The day is marred with beginnings and ends and the stories of those still between.  It is like any other day, but only more so.

I can’t remember when I first wrote the string of words floating below, but I meant them and I called them a poem despite the broken form and blatant disregard for any thought of structure. Consider the chaos a reflection of it. Consider the typed words as a sterile version of those that once fell across a bourbon-soaked bar napkin, left to ripen in the forgotten pocket of some seldom-worn jacket. Consider them what you will, for yours is the freedom to do so.

On a September day
when school bells rang,
and leaves entertained thoughts
of leaving —
things went wrong in a world
that was much more right
than we ever thought it was.
On a September day
when the bells rang
for the dying.

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