Thursday 1 November 2012

Ground Zero

I emerge from under
Ground zero
A perfect day in December

An Arab
Sells water
To thirsty tourists

Hawkers always find a shrine
To eke out their own

I stab unconvincingly
At prayers that don’t
Seem to fit the pilgrimage
To which I am drawn

The De Profundis
Comes close to the truth

Out of the depths I cry

Cry being the more
Authentic and muted now

In contrast to the tumult
Tumbling in this place
On that day

As on the day
Of President Kennedy’s

We know exactly
Where we were
When news broke

And we circle now in silence
Watching for whatever
Listening to the clang
Of steel
A constant Angelus

Of what will be

The cemetery building site
Struggles slowly upwards

While the pain of thousands
Pulls and holds it back

The dead have slept
And go on sleeping

Survivors scream
In nightmares not deserved
An interrupted life

And all the while
The traffic drives
And joggers run

But all of life is marked
And always turns its head
In this direction

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