Welcome to Musings on Poetry Friday. I'd like to share my 9/11 memorial poem. Head on over to The Poem Farm
for more offerings.
This summer I had the great honor of being invited to write a poem for our town’s 9/11 memorial program. In July I started my draft and soon hit a wall. Thumbing through one of my writer's notebooks, I found a note about the ancient Japanese art of joinery called Kintsugi (kin-tsugi).
In the art of Kintsugi, the artist applies layers of lacquer to adhere the pieces of broken pottery together. The final layer is laced with gold to illuminate, rather than hide, the breakage. The repaired object is more beautiful than the original. You can see this process here.
I felt that Kintsugi might hold meaning for the healing of America’s wound, and so my poem evolved.
Remember the day a ruptured sky
spread emptied and silent over us?
Doves and their kindred spirits dared not fly.
Smoke billowed. Haunting words
dropped heavy as descending stones.
On a stage where some called out, “Revenge!”
we cleaned and dressed our nation’s wound,
reached out to any stranger’s pain
to bond with post-9/11 glue.
On widening trenches of mistrust
we heaped security and sacred creed,
a monument to our lost innocence;
a Maginot Line Band-aid.
Do we wear you like a proud tattoo,
America’s September scar,
vengeance, vigilance– emblazoned
on muscles we habitually flex?
What if our splintered self, instead, displayed
seams layered like Japanese Kintsugi art–
heroic deeds of that one day
now gilded by forgiving hearts?
Let gold-illuminated seams
embellish and adorn our fractured vessel.
Let doves fly in from wild skies
to roost at last in sunlit olive branches.
~ Joyce Ray