2011, 9/11

Questa poesia fu scritta da un anonimo nei giorni successivi l’11 settembre 2001, quando non si era ancora certi del numero delle vittime degli attentati, e si pensava fossero più di 4.000. E’ stata pubblicata sul libro di Peggy Noonan dal titolo “A heart, a cross and a flag”.


Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven

Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven

Four thousand plus enter heaven.

A bearded man with stovepipe hat

Steps forward saying, “Let’s sit and chat”.


They settle down in seats of clouds

And a man named Martin shouts our proud

“I have a dream !” And once he did,

The Newcomers said, “your dream still lives”.


Groups of soldiers in blue and gray

Others in khaki, and green and say

“We’re from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine”.

And the Newcomers said, “You died not in vain”.


From a man on sticks one could hear

“The only thing we have to fear -“

And a Newcomer said, “We know the rest,

Trust us sir, we’ve passed the test”.


“Courage doesn’t hide in caves

You can’t bury freedom in a grave,”

The Newcomers had heard this voice before

A Yankee twang from Hyannis shore.


A silence fell within the midst

And somehow a Newcomer knew what this

Meant time had come for her to say

What was in the hearts of the four thousand that day.


“Back on Earth, we wrote reports,

Watched our children play in sports

Worked our gardens, sang our songs

Went to church, walked along.

We smiled, we laughed, knew love and hate,

But unlike you we were not great”.


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 appeared a scene

Of rubbled streets and twisted beams

Death, destruction, smoke and dust

And people working because they must.

Hauling ash, lifting stones,

Knee deep in hell, but not alone.


“Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman

Side by side helping their fellow man !”

So said Martin, as he watched the scene. Then:

“Even from nightmares, can be born a dream”.


And down below three fireman raised

The colors high in the ashen haze

The soldiers above had seen it before –

On Iwo Jima 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 husband 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

four thousand Newcomers on into heaven

On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven.

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