The Veltin School For Girls

I’ve been going through my Grandmother Ethel’s scrapbook. My Grandmother attended The Veltin School in New York City. In the coming days I’m going to post some of her artwork and poetry. She lived her life in New York City, Rochester, NY, then Myrtle Beach, SC, for retirement. I was very close to my Grandmother (1907-2000). We were/are both poets and spiritual people. I’ve taught at a school serving girls for several years now, my Grandmother further connects me to that work and the historic mission of those institutions.

More about The Veltin School: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veltin_School_for_Girls

My 9/11/01

the second tower went down
when I was in the car
heard disbelief, NPR like me
unable to stay calm, explaining
the before of white shirts waving for help
specks of humanity jumping out of windows
their hail hit while
I was eating my cereal flakes

at school, televisions on in every room
sirens rushing sound all over screens
the towers falling over and over again
repetition, it happened, it happened

“what does this mean?” I asked my students
as if they knew
“we are going to war,” one said
he wasn’t wrong

I put my classroom flag out in the hall
duct taped it up for all to see
half-staff in my mind
everything in disarray
some TVs stayed on the whole day

kids asked the one teacher from Manhattan
who she knew there
almost excited to hear loss firsthand
like watching people on CNN
holding photos of sisters, mothers, dads
the missing
the forever gone