Wednesday, September 10, 2008


[The following is a poem that I wrote in a creative writing class during my junior year of college. It's not my best work, but I wanted to share it with you today.]


Third period, fingers fly on my calculator
as I take my business calculus exam.
My world is derivatives,
predictable change.
Each problem has its answer.
The bell rings and echoes through the locker-lined hall
as it dismisses me to fourth period.
I reassure myself I did well on the test
as I walk to concert choir.
Nothing seems different about that long hallway to the music wing;
it’s the same channel to my escape from Chaucer, equations,
and beakers brimming with hydrochloric acid.
I enter the classroom
to find it overturned.
No one is in their usual place.
Today’s lesson plans have changed.
Panicked voices fill the room like poison gas
as the newscaster’s voice blares from the television.
I watch life in slow-motion.
The classroom is now foreign.
An alto struggles for air in between sobs
A group of three surrounds her, offer their comfort.
Her father
is away
on business.
Cheeks flushed and damp with tears.
Some students, wearing faces of stone, sit and stare at CNN.
Some are talking in hushed tones, filling in details on the breaking news.
I watch the replay.
A plane interrupts the pristine blue sky with an explosion of brilliant fire.
The replay.
Monstrous gray clouds of smoke smother the morning.
The replay.
Running in droves from the fallen skyline, people scream and ask God, “Why?”
The malevolent scene is burned into my brain.
We have entered a new world.
A world where flags wave above every doorstep, yellow ribbons adorn
almost every minivan, car, and truck.
Is this new world
really so different?
Or do we just feel better believing
it is somehow changed?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. It's amazing how most people can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened.

Kyla Bea said...

Very poignant, it's a hard day.

sarah marie p said...

Wow. This is really good. Thanks for posting this ...

Just wondering - did you actually write this your junior year of high school, not college? I saw on your myspace that you're 24 like me - but who knows, maybe you were super smart and in college way ahead of your time!