Friday, September 11, 2015

Poem for My Mother on September 11th

My Mother on September 11th

We didn’t know if we would live
Beyond that Tuesday.

I rushed from my teaching duties
Thinking not with my brain
But my frightened heart.

Filled the car with gas (what if
the stations ran dry?)

Took $200 out from the ATM (what if
the banks close?)

And drove my car like a maniac
Over the backroads to Euclid (what if
the freeways get jammed?)

To be with my Mother,
Aged, blind, living alone, maybe scared . . . .

When I got there, she was fine,
I was the one terrified.

She had lived through 12 years of the Great Depression,
Four years of The War-To-End-All-Wars,
Followed by The-War-After-That (Korea), and
The War-After-That (Vietnam), and
All the little wars,
All the little and huge deaths.

She was peaceful, strong, hopeful,
Helped her scared oldest son --me--
Face that terrible day
Gave me an idea of what to do


Robert M. Coughlin
September 11, 2003

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