Promise to the Fallen
Darkness devours the sun; the sky throws down
A rain of stones, a snow of ash and pain.
Two mountains fall that were a city’s crown;
And fire devours the star of empire’s reign.
Heroes leap in — this is a hero’s place —
Bring light to darkness, free the trapped and lost,
Move on with name unknown and unseen face,
And in a moment’s horror pay the cost.
In smoke and fires of hell the brave maintain
The search, the fight, the war for others’ sons
And their own lost, caught in this new-born plain;
Scarred earth ungraciously gives back those it has won.
We hold you in our hearts, we will not let
Your faces fade; and we will not forget.
In the first week following the September 11 terrorist attacks, I couldn’t write. I spent the week torn between tears and murderous rage. I did some posts in the community, but there was no fiction inside of me.
At the end of that week, Lazette Gifford posted a call for memorial material for the next issue of Vision — and I decided to do a poem. As has happened before in my life (see Life, Well-Lived, Will Weep, also available here in Short Stuff), poetry brought me through a dark place and out the other side. After I finished this poem, I could move on and get back to writing fiction again.
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