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New York  2 May 2011
by Ed Bennett

I was with you when he gouged
a crater where the buildings stood,
marked his anger with the blood
of two thousand oblivious to his rage,
to the death path of airliners,
the knowledge of hate and holy war.

He died today amid the opulence
of prime real estate and purchased friends
knowing one of them was complicit,
hinted in the smiled implication
that he was safe for the moment,
until that safety found a higher bid.

Today I am miles gone from the horror,
sitting on the side lines staring at
a broken horizon, my thoughts
somewhere between anger and elation
because the bullets bore the justice
of a final bell in the tenth round.

You didn't lose your innocence from
the stroke of death that Tuesday morning;
it was gone when cannons roared
and Washington fled across the Hudson
leaving you to figure a way out
because there were other priorities.

The fire fighters cough their cancers
into the beggars cup of elected promises;
ten years have turned a thank you
to impotent rage, excoriation, ideology
of non combatant legislation written by
insubstantial men with shortened memories.

No, there was no innocence in the brute
strength of your defiance, the quiet graves
of unintended consequence with names and dates
carved into the flesh of a city street.
Tears are long gone, hidden in the ebb and flow
of the days and years rebuilding.

He is dead in unmarked waters,
"fish food", or some other irreverent soubriquet.
He is gone and you are here,
restrained, scarred but knowing
he was not strong enough to strike a mortal blow
or still the echoes of your raucous streets.


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