Nancy L. Meek

VIEW FROM GROUND ZERO

Papered words cannot express the somber view
Of a thousand ants removing rubble, pail-by-pail
Steeled faces searching for loved ones long overdue
Feared buried forever beneath the terrorists’ trail.

An “all call” sends workers scrambling from the pile
A creak or moan sends buildings swaying in the wind
“Go, go, go… get out!” stalls the rescuers for just awhile
Feeling the same panic the victims felt back then.

Though exhausted and edgy, they return again and again
Determined in their quest to find, too slowly uncover
Those who had survived, those who met their end
A sister, a brother, a husband, father, or mother.

But the earth goes on turning, standing still for none
Sunsets too soon becoming just another sunrise
Families waiting for news on a missing loved one
Who disappeared when the towers fell from the skies.

We go through the motions, tending to daily affairs
Hearts beating on, yet tears still falling as drenching rain
Quivering lips still mumbling unanswered prayers
Each body recovered bringing yet another round of pain

We tell ourselves this horror is merely a bad dream
That we will wake up tomorrow and it will be gone
But the memories leap unbidden and at night we scream
Facing horrors hidden in life’s sweet and sour song

We have lost an innocence which will not return again
Know now the fragility of life, brought home in spades,
Our invincibility ruptured mingle with the endless pain
And the world we had come to cherish quickly fades.

We feel our tempers rising, our patience growing short
With waves of emotions, at times, washing over us all
Disturbing thoughts filling our heads from the latest report
And we pray to God our great nation will not fall.

It helps to talk with others who listen and care
As the ants continue to dig into the cavity of the earth
Going about their job as the world weeps with despair
Joining together in prayer, sharing a new spiritual rebirth

We have seen the decency of loving, giving people
Who have made the grief of strangers their very own
We have rang freedom’s bell from the highest steeples
Rising from the ashes, stronger than we’ve ever known

As a new morning dawns, a sleeping giant awakes
Rising from the rubble of broken dreams and lost lives
Rolling up its sleeves, prepared to do whatever it takes
To reassure a hurting world that freedom still survives

Overcome by the scent of America’s dying roses,
Their stomachs long emptied upon the sacred ground
The ants plod on, determined, covering their noses
Searching for brothers still trapped within the mound

In the blink of an eye, our dreams have been changed
By a new resolve to bring terrorism to its knees
Each victim found bringing knowing glances exchanged
Man’s inhumanity-to-man prompting heavenward pleas

Pail-by-pail, brick-by-brick, the colony will rebuild
With determination, we will not let these terrorists win
Enduring the fight for the sake of a dream yet fulfilled
With so much at stake, how can we not let the battle begin

Passersby are turned away from the crime scene in despair
And it has been said that if you look up, and if you really try
When the sun is just so, and the clouds are just right in the air,
You can still see the towers there, stretching into the sky.