Crashing planes. Flaming
Dreadful sounds. Collapsing Towers.
|Last cries of three thousand souls.
Avalanches of debris and rubble
Rolling down streets
Swallowing cars, people, everything.
Glimmering of vanishing life and light.
Doomed firemen and squealing sounds
From their portable motion detectors.
Three thousand bodies, broken, bleeding, burning.
Giant metal walls ripped into jagged chunks.
|Twisted steel girders.
Towering piles of rubble.
Smashed burnt cars as if
Pulled out of a blender.
A smoldering inferno.
Three hundred and fifty firemen and many, many police gone.
Every three blocks, six feet high and fifty feet long,
Everywhere recently installed shrines of
|Relief supplies on skids:
Bottled water and juices,
Sweaters, shoes, buckets.
Buckets to sift for remains.
|Candles, flowers, flags and posters
Of smiling missing victims.
Firehouses with bunting in mourning colors,
Candles, flowers and posters of their missing.
Surviving residents clap as firemen pass by.
|Weep passing Engine 24-Ladder 5 Firehouse
Where eleven firemen are gone.
Blankets of gray ash everywhere.
George Cladis 9/11/01