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

House Says Goodbye

It is only a house, wood, paint, single pane glass windows,
but ten years pass and it is no longer ours, no longer

that two-story blanket that covered us in our laughter,
held our bare feet on floorboards that knew our family’s

groove, from Gangnam Style to I ain’t your mama, no I
ain’t your mama, not anymore. Sold, our Spanish

American War casa, Victorian era, master bedroom in
the San Francisco fog, where I daydreamed through

tree leaves and power lines, pondered this and that, scribbled,
loved and prayed on dark rainy nights. This place held

us in moments, just moments that always go on to the next,
the goodbye was always waiting, we left and it said hello.

When the Roses at 7-Eleven Spoke

We sit in this white bucket, usually once a year to
rest on the counter near lottery tickets and cash
register. In warm water, spayed, our thorns are gone,
left somewhere in Ecuador, swept off the floor,
before they packed us tight to fly far away, then taken
in trucks all over paved roads into rectangular buildings
where fluorescent lights are always on. We watch them
buy beer, cigarettes, some stare at us in wonder that we
have petals, red color, were once alive. They touch,
fondle, rustle our leaves, remembering a moment
with us, that wasn’t us. Others grab us, a dozen at a time,
the number of true love, when money doesn’t matter at all.
Days go by and we start to droop, no one smiles anymore,
wilted, jilted, until one day, they just throw us away.

Lost Husband

she wanted to dig up the body
not his body, but the wooden box
with ashes, he is too far from me
she said, need him closer, away from
rain seeping under dirt, talk never
turned to shovels, chardonnay, chardonnay
and words, words, left him in ground
but he wasn’t there either, missing
husband, reward upon return
she put up signs, but
no one ever called