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