the year of lyrics: a poetry project

my search for inner-peace, one poem at a time

Day 145 – Eyes on Downtown

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As we left summer,
And approached fall
Life I can still recall

Back then?
Bags were packed
“I’m going to a wedding”
It’s time for a vacation
Adventure? It was beginning.

“Where are you going?”
Connecticut.
Then New York.
Where the lights are always on:
Keep the city on caffeine and adrenaline
More caffeine
More adrenaline

“Where are you going?”
I told you, the East Coast.
I’m ready to go
I’m gone
You want the low down? I was up high
Smile wide
Open eyes
Eager

Grasping the hands of a nine-year-old
And a seven-year-old
“We’re on our way”
The other little one is too young to listen

Hours float on by
Eyelids dropping a bit more
We’ll be touching down shortly, Welcome to Hartford

Kumusta, Uncle Nilo! Auntie!”*
I’m a little shy, I’m quiet
They try to talk to us
So I pretend to muster up confidence
I hop in the backseat
I’ve got this

“Are we there yet?”
Hindi, we still have to drive to Trumbull
“Where’s that?”

Another hour and a half

A wave of sleeping sand showers my face
I drift into the quickly pulled-out futon
Curling up beside my brothers
My black silky hair resting upon the pillow
Into a deep sleep: I depart

Soon, it’s morning
I wake to the shaking of the not-so-comfortable mattress
My blankets are being pulled off of me
I fight to keep my eyelids shut
But instead, there is panic in the air
And it begins to creep into my heart

Mom is crying
I think to myself: “Wake up”
I glance at the clock
It’s nine in the morning
Why are we awake?

Seconds wash over the discomfort in my mother’s face
Dad is in awe with his freshly brewed coffee

A building is on flames

Minutes

“The other one just got hit”

What’s going on?
Someone tell me something
Auntie is in her robe,
Horror on her face
She forces it out in a breath:

“I didn’t go to work today”
“You guys shouldn’t go into the city for a while”

*Author’s Note: My Auntie used to work in a building across the street from the Twin Towers. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, she was feeling a little under the weather, and let herself take the day off. She wanted to spend time with us while we were in town.
——-
In loving memory of those who lost their lives, and the families and friends who have endured more pain then I could imagine. And to our nation’s heroes, for they serve America with courage and compassion.

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