An autumn breeze rattles
The first crackling leaves
Dancing in crazy spirals
Across the graying asphalt
Silted with ash
Slick with tears

A surreal montage
Helmets and hoses
Buckets and backhoes
Streaked faces etched in horror
Working, hoping, working
working
Debris flaming red as leaves
flutters in the air

Amid unthinkable chaos
A stillness grows
Enfolding souls lost
Souls at a loss
The world stops
Frozen in one aching moment
then another, and another

But an autumn breeze rattles
The first crackling leaves
And reddens warm child cheeks
Hands reaching hands
Holding tight
Holding tighter

The thaw begins

In memory of those who lost their
lives September 11
In hope for those they leave behind