“A Quiet Day at School” by Michael Aaron Casares, Austin, TX

September 11 October 26, 2011 20:57

topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

I was a sophomore.
It was after first period,
my second period class
was also homeroom
and lunch was next
so the T.V. was playing
in every classroom
from that point on.
As we all watched CNN,
FOX or MSNBC or local news
for updates and live minute-to-minute
coverage of the twin towers under attack
we wondered, Was it a bomb?
Did they shoot a missile into the building?
The reporter said it was a—
I saw on live television the second tower struck
by a winged entity shadowy and fast.
A brilliant plume of black dust and fire,
a chorus of gasps and murmurs.
People were afraid, because America
didn’t get attacked, and blood never spilled
on its soils. The fear ran deep.
Nobody had much to say that day,
we children more confused,
our teachers composed,
some with patient understanding,
some with misguided delusion.
Uncertainty was a peculiar
role played at this time.
We didn’t know who Al-Qaida was
or Osama Bin Laden. We didn’t know
why they attacked or if they’d return.
We didn’t know if they had planted
bombs in buildings or spread Anthrax.
We rallied around the President
whose father was a President before him.
There was a new era of patriotism
rooted in the agony of pain and death
by this senseless attack; then on to Iraq.
There was game bigger than some
ex-CIA operative. A war on terrorism
had begun and a new age of security
forsook our liberty.

The narrative to this story expanded
in question marks to this day.
Building 7, the four deaths of Osama Bin Laden,
we’re helping Al-Qaida overthrow Libya?
Three buildings speed down at free fall?
First responders, heroes, and neighbors
who sacrificed their well-being to save another are
barred from Anniversary events?
Not the only things that don’t make sense.
America deserves true answers,
America deserves to know why it mourns;
America deserves to know the truth about 9/11.

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