Eclipsing the Mourning

by Glenn Currier

The morning eclipse
was not predicted
but we will never be the same
after the darkness
that rushed into our eyes and hearts
that September Tuesday.
It hung there for months
even as we layered
tearful days and restless nights
on damaged fabric
quietly searching
for an underpinning
to reconstruct our lives.

From our Eastern shore
a shadow paused a people,
quieted conversations, slowed cars,
parted queues and relaxed agendas.
We found the softness in waiting
and the vast compassion
pulsing the arteries and veins
beneath the frantic efficiency
of our daily busyness,
in the fluid of our shared humanity.

The darkness of terror
became the light in the night
of the workers who cleared
with their courage and sweat
a place we all met
to create love from error
and gentleness from grief.

We darkened the shadow
when hurt became vengeance,
and anger became hatred,
when our fears and our tears
were spoken in swears and tears.

Where will we travel from this dark?
What legacy will we leave,
what cloth will we weave?
Will we craft an ark
of understanding
a yearning to know
what makes peace grow
instead of hatred's mold?

Will our people shine out,
a beacon of free speech
or will wanting to be loyal
turn our warmth to cold
and darken the toil
our founders spent
when they gave consent
to a bill of rights
where a nation unites
and extends its reach
to multiplicity of thought?

Let the word go forth
from this place and time
that we are a people
who can rise above
our anger and climb
over the rubbled heap
to a new peak of love
where our ears want to hear
how our actions harm others,
where we stop and we listen.
We care not how we glisten,
but how we can teach
ourselves to reach
across the great divides
not to make allies
but sisters and brothers.


Posted on 09/08/2002
Copyright © 2023 Glenn Currier

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 12/05/03 at 07:39 AM

you take the reader on a journey here... excellent portrayal of the aftermath of 9/11, then a profound statement at the end... brilliant and moving piece... blessings to you...

Posted by Junemarie Roldan on 07/17/06 at 04:06 AM

Love, loyalty, and devotion will never be brought about, at the point of a gun. Most people would agree with that. Yet often our actions contradict that very thought. I've though about that contradiction endlessly, 'til I thought my head would explode. And the answer that comes to me, over and over is one that I can not accept or live with. The answer being human nature. There simply has to be a better one, one that I've overlooked. If anyone has a better answer that makes sense to me, and one that I can accept and live with. Please let me know. I want to know. Thank you so much for this thought provoking piece.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/06/06 at 04:16 AM

This has to be the best post 9/11 poem I've read as far as describing the sad aftermath, but then questioning what our role and attitude toward the world should or could be. Quite excellent!

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