Gray Cloud – A Tribute to September 11, 2001

This is a poem written by a friend and college roommate of mine, Jerry, on September 12, 2001.

Gray Cloud

There’s a gray cloud over my house
Like the smoke from a Nazi crematoria
It carries the hopes and dreams of
Away on this clear day
Pieces of their work, their lives
Drift down to the street in front of my house
A burnt page
A singed business card

From the roof of my house
I saw what I thought were only wounds,
Wounds I thought that could be healed
I know now that the scars
Will be thick and painful
The rehabilitation
Long and grueling

In my backyard
There is a fine dusting of ash
The colors of the flowers are duller
But no amount of water
No amount of love
Can return them to their beauty of yesterday

I walk the streets of my neighborhood
To read the writing on the church walls
I see messages of hope, of thanks, of pleas for peace
And I cry
In public

By the local firehouse I stop.
By their fearlessness,
And choked
By their loss

My wife says:
“Did you notice everyone is eating ice cream?”
And we both know
It’s not for joy
But to fill a void

There’s a gray cloud over my house
And there’s blue sky
Where the World Trade Center should be

And I still don’t know what to do.


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