Waiting in Hoboken

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my next work of fiction, going through old stories and poems for inspiration. I stumbled across this poem in my files, and it seems appropriate since the ten year anniversary of 9/11 is approaching.  After 9/11 my family and I went to Hoboken to see the Tribute in Light  and I remember feeling emptier after going than I had before– I wondered how people found comfort in lights that could be switched on and off in a second. Back then, I couldn’t understand the point of a tribute that only drew attention to what was lost, and the eeriness of those blue-light towers has always resonated with me.

Waiting in Hoboken

Dusty nighttime,

two blue columns

from another world

pierce the sky and draw

long, swaying paths

in the charcoal water.

a woman gasps

well isn’t that extraordinary

I feel

so close I could swim,

I feel

as long as these

blue lights can float

atop the river,

I can follow them back

to the

get on defense!

call of my soccer coach

and the

dog-walking hey kiddo!

of my next door neighbor,

escape the debris,

and I hear their voices

scuttling cross the Hudson.

it’s a school night, let’s go

say good-bye

to the river

home

the towers have fallen,

and no one speaks

my language.

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