Every Time I See A Plane (9/11 Poem)

Author’s Note: This poem is about my experience on September, 11th, 2001 as someone who lived right outside of New York City. In my poetry class in college (circa 2013), we were asked to write a poem about a public event that greatly affected us, and so this poem was born.

Every time I see a plane:
Confusion and smoke.
We weren’t allowed outside for recess.
And parents were sporadically showing up at different times
While kids were being taken home with no explanation.

In Fair Lawn, New Jersey,
Ten miles outside of New York City,
It was chaos, our normal lives shaken.

Can you imagine what it was like in the City?
The fire, the debris, the bodies.
And this was before everyone
Had their own cell phone.

I heard people had to walk home,
Across the George Washington Bridge,
Their feet full of blisters and calluses.

And there I was, eight years old,
Sitting on the couch in my living room,
My school day cut short,
My parents home early for once.
I watched the television, the repeating newscast,
Imagining the planes overhead would fall.

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