Today I am re-running “The Silence and the Darkness,” a poem about September 11, 2001.
The Silence and the Darkness
September 11, 2001Can you hear the silence? There’s a space there in your mind many years old but still brand new— still burning you and touching you though you were far away. Can you see the silence? Not cloud was in the sky, but an airplane then a missile turned into a tower and your world stopped to ponder until there was another and then you were not sure at all of what it was you knew, but you knew it was a morning unlike any other and you would not forget. Can you smell the silence? Terror reigned and rained in Pennsylvania, NYC and DC and sunny skies were filled with clouds of smoke and fire and shouts and screams and gasps and sirens and mothers, fathers, children crying— a spot of sun through monstrous clouds: this was life among the dead; this was life among the dying. Then the loudest sound of all: Silence. Silence so profound from sky down to the ground and back again. And then the sky began to fall. And all we knew was nothing, nothing then at all. * You recall the silence. It is always there— a space inside your mind that never will be filled: not with pictures; not with sound; just a piece of silence in a place of darkest darkness inside of which is vastness with a thousand million questions and a thousand million resolutions that all come down to this: How shall we now live? * The silence and the darkness brought by stealthy enemy somehow can unite us when we ourselves can not. Remember those who perished. Remember those they loved. And remember then the heroes: They never let us down. * Celebrate that silence. Celebrate that darkness. Celebrate that space. And celebrate America, rising from the ashes. Can you feel the silence? Then ponder once again: Who have we become? And who shall we now be? ©Daniel Mark Extrom / All rights reserved.