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by Chris Sorrenti

in a dream...

high school buddies over for a BBQ
beer bottles of every denomination
stacked in the fridge
70s heavy metal blasting on the stereo

steak thawing on the counter
was about to make salad
then news came on the radio
missiles were on their way
seconds later
saw one of ours take to the sky
as if expected
it didn’t bother me
yet knowing what had to be done

phoned my parents
dad picked up
for the first time since childhood
said I loved him
give my best to mom
the connection already beginning to crackle
then told him I had to go
had to find my son

next scene
I was in a car
can’t remember who was driving
nor the passenger beside me
though vividly
racing south out of the city
to escape the blast
minutes away from the power
of multiple Hiroshimas
remarkably no one else on the highway

then we came to a church
thousands without cars
sitting in the parking lot
on lawn chairs
a giant sign saying

we pulled in
a nun got out of our car
then turning in her khakis
saluted us
we saluted back
before she disappeared into the church

my son then walked over
happily greeted me
just as I looked up
to see a squadron of planes
heading north
so high up
they appeared and sounded as insects
one buzzing on the outside
obviously the commander

I shouted
the flash of megatons still blinding

next scene
I was a Jedi knight
dressed in costume unfamiliar
high collar
long skirt garb
light sabre by my side
Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the support
greeted me like an old war buddy
asked where the beer and steak was

then the clock-radio went off
reluctantly I woke up
to the latest news
on Al-Qaeda

© 2001

130 hits as of May 2018


Author's Note: On this the 16th anniversary of 9/11, a strange poem inspired by a strange dream, shortly after the attack on the World Trade Centre (WTC). I had been at home, on strike, the day of the attack, and watched the whole thing unfold on CNN. Due to security concerns, my union cancelled the strike, and everyone ordered back to work the following day. At the time, I was working in a 28-story office tower, but in light of what had happened to the twin towers, fortunately only on the 4th floor, which in my mind meant an easy escape should our building be hit like the WTC. As I went into work that following day, I can vividly recall looking up to the top of my building, with a tremendous sense of insecurity and forebode, imagining how easy it would be to knock it down with an airliner. By that point, however, all commercial aviation had been grounded, while authorities worked out what to do next. Funny how the mind works. In analyzing the dream, having grown up in the Cold War, I guess my mind’s way of dealing with the psychological trauma was to recall the fear of the closest thing, a nuclear attack. Of course, at that point, no one knew what else Al-Qaeda had in the way of weapons, so the fear of an atomic bomb wasn’t so far-fetched.

Posted on 09/11/2017
Copyright © 2018 Chris Sorrenti

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