Numbers With Meaning

My tribute goes deep. One of my family members was first responder and we are grateful she is still in our lives. A couple of my former students at the time lost family members. A colleague lost his cousin. As everyone else, I remember vividly the events of the day. I can remember things I said, what I had for breakfast and the pounding of heart. It all started during the first period of the school day. I had to be strong for my students and the teachers under my supervision. I was not supposed to panic. I had to be strong for all of them. I remained as calm as I humanly could and tried to comfort the children who had been entrusted to me.

I did not breakdown until I returned home that evening and looked to the New York City skyline from my car to see the devastation. Although all I could see was smoke, I kept thinking of the people who lived in that area and all the lives lost. I thought about my old neighborhood and how terrified people must have been in those horrific moments. I thanked God that my family was safe. I recently visited the 9/11 memorial. It is amazing. It was very emotional and sad but at the same time I felt hopeful. I know we will never ever forget. I just pray that it gets better for all the family members who lost their loved ones. I did not realize or maybe I’d blocked out some of the facts of that day. Only six people survived. Most especially I was stunned to know that 11 unborn children had also perished. Now that I am a grandmother this fact is harder to accept. However, I believe with all my heart they are our angels of hope.

I did not write a poem this year but I focused on the numbers that appear in every newspaper, blog, flyer, book, and all accounts of that beautiful September day that became the most tragic day in the history of our country. May their souls rest in peace.

A candle in the wind God bless America.

Numbers with meaning

9/11

2001

8:45

1

767

11

20,000

80

110

18

9:04

2

767

175

60

9:45

5

757

77

125

64

15

200

10:30

93

40

500

5:20

7

4

1,800,000

2997

90

11

343

23

37

6

19

Freedom Tower

Water Falls

In Remembrance of 9/11

In Remembrance of 9/11

No matter how many years

Twelve to be exact

What remains is fact

Nothing rids our tears

And deep down at times we fear

What destiny plans for us

However in God we must trust

That never again

There will be a 9/11

Today we all remember

The souls taken from us all

On a day dressed in a beautiful sky of blue

Flags furl courageously around the memorial fountain

as water flows in silence

Soft music strummed on violins

Allow all our Angels to sing

Amazing Grace

Three bells are tolled to mark the pace of

The endless moments now locked in time

As love ones read their names

For all these years and more

Our lives will never be the same

In the crevices that inscribe

Each name in marble for eternity

A mother gently places a rose

In remembrance of a love she can only know

And a daughter traces her father’s name

Although she never got to meet him

Let us not forget today

At any time in any way

Or the atrocities inflicted upon

To many young children so far away

May our humanity and innate goodness

Always prevail

God guide us through hard times

Peace and love must never fail

God bless the souls lost in 9/11

Forever and especially today

Let’s all look up to the heavens

In unison we must pray

God bless America!

May Peace be the only way.

 Heaven Above

In Remembrance of My Grandmother

She barely smiled

but when she did

it was like she smiled

for all of us, all at once

She sequestered herself

away from the world outside

her humble home

soon after my grandfather died

I never met him

but she made him come alive to me

with stories of his exquisite chivalry

His portrait sat on the table

beside where Grandma sat

to fold the laundry and fine linen

Each fold she made

was purposeful

and perfectly aligned

her wrinkled hands

caressed the fabric

with great tenderness

a pillow case could not

possibly appreciate

I felt her love

one day

when she gently brushed

my hair for the first time

(I could remember)

and wrapped it in a bun.

She told extraordinary stories

about her childhood, my grandfather

and the things that according to her

every girl should know

about life in general.

She smoked cigars

which I found unreal

but she did it with the grace

of a queen.

What I remember most

is her love for her pets

although not the traditional

dog or cat.

She raised chickens and hens, and roosters

gave them all names at that

Had short conversations with them every day

about the weather and what was on her mind

Then on any given day

at any given time

when she felt they were fat enough

she’d decide

to cook one of them

for us to dine.

As I remember the many conversations I had

with my beloved grandmother

we all called Mita

and do not ask me why

I think about

the things that my grand children

will remember about me after I have died.

I hope Mita knows how

much she influenced

me as a storyteller and poet.

I could almost see her smile.

and once again it warmed my heart

because when she smiled

it was like she smiled for all of us.

*My grandmother passed away 37 years ago.

Remembered

Remembered

 

How do you want to be remembered?  asked the poet

There were three poets, one doctor and two teachers present to respond to the poet’s question.

Finally after a long silence and obvious pondering the doctor says, “I want to be remembered  as someone who took my oath seriously.

One poet said, ” I want to be remembered as a poet who wanted to promote peace.”

The other poet said, “I will be remembered as the king of the couplet.”

The remaining poet said, ” I hope people will remember me as the simple poet.”

Then the two teachers looked at each other politely and gestured one another to speak first.

After a few seconds one teacher speaks. “I want to be remembered for my patience,” she said.

The other teacher remains pensive for a few more seconds. She says, “I hope that the students I was not able to reach somehow know that

I am deeply sorry I was not able to reach them. I hope they finally know that my heart-felt their pain and that I wished I could have been a

better teacher to them.”

A few weeks ensued and the poet learns that the teacher had passed away. He was so moved by what she said that he decides to write her a

poem.

Here is the poem:

You made a mark

inside my heart

many years ago

removed my fears

and washed away my tears

 

you tried so hard

to make me see

and helped me to believe in me.

 

your love for poetry

inspired me to write poems

my rhyming thoughts

 

you did not see

the you you left in me.

You set me free with the poetry

you read so beautifully.

 

you thought I was not looking

you thought I was not listening

I hope you know

you could not have been a better teacher

you soothed my pain

and will remain

in my heart forever.

 

 

 

 

Now and Forever – In Memory of My Mom

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“Now and Forever

was the song playing on the radio

that lonely morning

as I drove to see you one

last time.

I could not sleep

thinking you might not last

through the night

and you did not.

“you are a part of me

now and forever,

and

Sometimes I wish I could always be with you

The way we used to do”

You were always there for me

and I miss you so much.

It has been 19 years to the day

you decided not to stay

and I know deep in my heart

why you could not

and it’s O.K.,

I know you found the way

to heaven.

Dear Mom,

“And I think about all the words between us

That never needed to be spoken”

“Now and forever

I will always think of you.

Now and forever

I will always think of you.”