September 11

Healing field

The Healing Field. Randy HeinitzCC BY

Out of the blue

a student asks:

“Mrs. Haley,

if you could have

one magic power,

what would it be?”

Other students 

look up from their writing

to listen. 

I think of suffering

of strife

of festering

scars and stripes

visible

and invisible.

Broken bodies

hearts

psyches.

The children watch

and wait.

What power would it be?

“Healing,” I say.

They absorb this

without a word

their young eyes

looking far away

or maybe far within

to make

their own meaning.

They nod

as they return

to creating

their own stories.

11 thoughts on “September 11

  1. “Scars and stripes”–such an apt phrase, then and now. I struggled to explain the importance of this date to students who were born long after the event, students whose families are only first- and second-generation Americans. They only know the changes in our lives that resulted as a matter of course, no change at all for them. They look upon the memorials as we do on the WWII museums and artifacts–understanding the significance at an intellectual level, but maybe not perhaps feeling the depth of sorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about the connection to WWII. I think the horror is hard for successive generations to sense; they know how events played out, an advantage that we, living through it, did not. I was thinking of our flag with “scars and stripes,” both 9-11 and the strife in our country today … yes, then and now, as you captured. Thank you so much for your thoughts, Chris.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a powerful post for any day, but especially for today. Your structure highlights the impact of your word choice and mood. I’ve read it several times and every time I take something more from it. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and for saying you see something more each time. When I wrote, I was thinking of humanity as a whole as well as 9-11. Healing from what’s happened and the power to heal before such choices are ever made again.

      Like

  3. I agree that your word choice is spot on! I am also amazed that you could be so impactful with so few words. I love the question posed by your student – and your answer is perfect. I think I would want the same magic power!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for picking up on the image in that opening line, “out of the blue”; it was the last thing that came to me in composing the poem. It is a hard day to teach, yes; but so vital that we do, that we carry on,

      Like

  4. I love your choice of words here, intentional and powerful, but most of all I love how you chose healing as a super power. I used the Wonderopolis post about superheroes vs real heroes of 9/11 to teach about the day. Then I asked my students to write. They do not feel the weight of the day as I do, but that’s OK. They will have their own weight to bear.

    Liked by 1 person

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