They stood so tall – above it all,
Aloof – even above the Lady’s torch
Beyond the ken of ordinary men
It seemed – until… death came down.
A scimitar sweep of jetcraft wings
And fire’s red-gold blossom
Brings us shock beyond what we can bear.
And then again! Ah, God – it cannot be!
People leap – embracing quicker death –
Or run in smoke and flame
Terror at their heels – and in their eyes:
Anguish – disbelief and agony.
And Mommy called us from the plane
To say she loves us, and she’ll miss us,
But she won’t be home again.
How do you tell them that?
And then – the horror beyond all else –
Unprepared, we saw them fall.
Their deaths like rewound film in parody
Of their steady upward birth.
They fell – inward – down and down
Compacting into chaos
At ever-rising speed – obscured at last
By blessed clouds of smoke and dust.
God, if you are truly Allah too
How could they think that this
Is what you ask of them to bring to us
In retribution for real and imagined harm?
They cannot be so foolish as to think
That this will make us change
Our thoughts and hearts and then embrace,
Or accede to their demented cause.
There is no cause – no purpose here
Except to teach us fear and pain –
And, o-o-oh, we've learned it well.
Anger blooms with every replay
Of the deed, and hatred comes
In waves, and we know that we will kill,
And retribution will be swift and large.
Someone has to die for this – a lot!
But is that not what started this?
Retribution – righting wrongs – justice
In the name of God and loved ones
Now and long since dead?
Will we not swing the scythe around
And start again this horrid dance of death?
But then again, dare we not? And let this deed
Go unpunished but by God?
There are no right answers here, but…
Oh, God! They stood so tall –
And we all… saw them fall.