Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let’s Roll

I awoke one Tuesday morning
And got up out of bed
I listened to some music
To help me clear my head

I brewed a pot of coffee
And into the shower I climbed
I sang along with the music
Now fresh in body and mind

I fixed myself some breakfast
And drank my coffee down
Then turned off the music
And headed towards the town

As was always my custom
When driving was my way
I listened to more music
On this bright and beautiful day

I arrived at my office
And sat down at my desk
I began work right away
And set about my task

“What do you think of today’s events?”
A coworker inquired
I paused my work and asked
“What events transpired?"

They looked at me in disbelief
They couldn’t help but stare
The news was everywhere
How could I not be aware?

Something big had happened
I could see it in their faces
Don’t know what they were thinking
Perhaps they wanted to trade places

Clearly stunned, he asked
“You really haven’t heard?”
“I haven’t listened to the news,
How would I have heard?”

As their shock subsided
They told me what had been
Two planes had hit the towers
My response, “Osama bin Laden”

Again they stared at me in wonder
Asked, “What was that you said?”
So I repeated, “Osama bin Laden”
And again my words fell dead

So I started to explain
The stories that I knew
From reading in the papers
About bin Laden and his crew

And when a third plane crashed
Now with the Pentagon in black
No longer was there any doubt
It was a suicide attack

As that day’s events unfolded
And they watched the burning flame
They sat and listened in disbelief
At how I knew his name

As the shock turned into fear
The real horror began
As Tower Two collapsed
And everybody ran

Minutes later, the fourth plane fell
In a field in Pennsylvania
We didn’t know about the heroes
Who gave their lives to save us

All we knew was it was down
And the skies held only clouds
Except for a few fighter jets
Which were startlingly loud

Almost half an hour later
The other tower fell
The sight was so surreal
I think it looked like hell

And as I watched, I shed some tears
For those who lost their lives
But even more for those still here
The children, husbands, and wives

I can’t explain how I knew
Or why they used such violence
But for three whole days, give or take
The skies held only silence

I tell you one thing that I know
Now this ten years hence
We’ll never understand it
Because it makes no sense

They think that they can change
Our ways by bringing terror here
You know something, they’re right
Except they cannot make us fear

So on this day, and each day after
Dwell not upon the toll
And do not fear, but think instead
Of these final words, “Let’s Roll”

-- Geoff Strickler
-- September 11, 2011

1 comment:

  1. Really like this poem, Geoff. Those who died would applaud. Those who survived and have turned their grief and shock into a statement about love for others have embodied the 'Lets Roll' ethic and spirit in innumerable ways. It has been a very special day today, seeing so many tributes and memories and now your poem. Good work.