Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pat (Aftermath) - a poem for 9/11

We stand united remembering 9.11.

Pat has been a part of our class for a few months now. In previous weeks, when it was her turn to read at our table, she would usually recite a poem from memory. Before beginning, she would take a full second to close her eyes as though to tune out the world and travel deep into her memory bank, and when she has picked the right poem for the day, she’d open her eyes wide. The room would hush. Word after word would arrive loudly and clearly, marching straight from her core and filling the room. Her voice is like nothing else you’ve ever heard. Rich, complex, deliberate, with not a single misplaced word or ill-timed pause. I’d always sit there wishing that one day she would write down her poems in her words so you too can – to the extent this blog and our imagination allows us – hear her voice too. Today was that day. This is the poem she wrote. I just got home from the senior center, and knew I had to share this one with you right away. Pat’s courageous voice must be heard.

Patricia E. Williams

The Nerve of them,

after passing the lady with the torch,
after dining on democracy,
and consuming freedom,
to think that this great nation
could not rise above the ashes
of those three buildings and lost lives,

Because of the unity of us,
the courage of us,
the strength of us.
we shall prevail.

The nerve of us.