|Wikimedia commons photo|
Perhaps some of you have visited our 9/11 Memorial site in New York City. I have not. Tonight, as on each anniversary since 9/11, a light tribute will extend high into the night sky to honor those who perished. You can view some images of the tribute here.
Our town librarian asked me to write a poem for our town's 10th anniversary observance of 9/11. My wish is the same on this 16th anniversary.
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 © All rights reserved
Note: Kintsugi (kin-tsugi) is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics. The artist applies layers of lacquer to adhere the pieces together. The final layer is laced with gold to illuminate, rather than hide, the breakage.