What I Saw

I stepped into the tent.

I thought I was prepared.

How wrong I was...

My eyes quickly filled

with tears

as they scanned pictures

of those who perished.

My throat constricted

with hiccupping sobs

as I looked upon remnants

of what once was.

Before that day.

Lining the tent walls

and weighing down tables...


Tattered jackets

that firefighters wore.

A cell phone

a business-person held.

(perhaps to make that final call)

Battered doors of police cars.

Pieces of signs...street signs,

store signs, one from a Tower

with only half the words


Chunks of stone and rubble.

Twisted skeletons

of metal and steel.

A section of

an airplane.

Parts of automobiles

and rescue vehicles.

Just small pieces

of what

once made up

huge structures.

Just small fragments

of what

once made up

human lives.

Now reduced

to indiscernible


Screens of televisions

and computers

replay the images,

the sounds,

the horror.

From a speaker,

'Taps' is played

over and over.

Viewing and hearing

all this

brings me back

and once again

my grief pours out.

I am not alone.

Many are openly crying

and grieving along.

At the end of

the last table

sits something

so everyday,

so inane.

But it spoke

volumes to me

the moment

I saw it.

Not part of

the wreckage.

But a solemn box

of tissues.

Awaiting to absorb

the tears

and grief

of all of us.

A 'temporary fix.'

For inside of me,

when tears

are not

visibly falling,

I will always

be crying...

For that day

in September.

For those lost,

innocent victims.

For the ones

left behind.

For America.

For what I saw...


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