Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven
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Two thousand one, nine eleven
Five thousand plus arrive in heaven.
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying,
"Let's sit, let's chat"
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud,
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say,
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"
The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
From a man on sticks one could hear
"The only thing we have to fear."
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
trust us sir, we've passed that test."
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
"Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,"
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannis port shores.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that  day.
"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports,
Worked our gardens, sang our songs,
Went to church and clipped coupons.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought,
Unlike you, great we're not"
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me."
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams,
Death, destruction, smoke and dust,
And people working just 'cause they must.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell
But not alone.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
"Look!  Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"
So said Martin, as he watched the scene
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze.
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in '44.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly,
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow - but I don't see fear."
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
"You left behind husbands and wives,
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you.
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said,
"Take my hand," and from there he led
Five thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven.

In his own words...

I wrote this  three days after the attack in response to my daughter's question regarding what, if any, value was derived from the death of all those people. I have had some folks with degrees in English, published writers and others write back with compliments and editorial suggestions. All are welcome and appreciated. I didn't write it for any reason other than to express my own personal feelings and I posted it in hopes that children (especially those most directly effected) would get some sense that ALL life has value and ALL life contributes to the continuation of the good.

Paul Spreadbury,
York Beach, Maine


All artwork copyright Danny Hahlbohm, Duplication in any format expressly prohibited without the artist's written consent

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