Nancy L. Meek


As you drop your dying cell phone
(your anchor to the world outside)
in an effort to help your colleague,
which tactic haven’t you tried?

When the smoke comes arid black,
and invades your lungs and eyes,
what prayers will make a difference
as the man beside you dies?

Clinging to hope you’ll return
to the world you knew before,
you’re amazed you’re still alive,
marooned on an upper floor.

As flames eat through the door
that formerly held them at bay,
how do you endure the unbearable,
as you scream and pull away?

Who knows what one must do
in the struggle for blessed air,
when a closed window is shattered
and the opening is there…

Author’s Note: This poem refers to the people who jumped from the windows of the New York City World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001