Phone Call 9/11: A Poem, a Song

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Phone Call 9/11

It was the last phone call I’d ever receive from Mom, 
the one on that clear, burning-blue-sky morning 
in the Virginia mountains, the same sky 
that looked down on buildings ablaze in Manhattan. 

“Something is happening in New York. Turn on your TV.”
She lived several more years in the assisted-care center
where over countless lunches I’d listen to her memories
but about what took place that day she had no words.

I’ll never know what sense Mom made of what she saw.
Her husband had come home from the South Pacific.
They had build a home, grown a garden and a family.
Life had been good, the way it was supposed to be.  

Years later a song captured, condensed, maybe rearranged
in my mind the scene on TV, the voices trying to explain
the unexplainable, give meaning to the meaningless.
The lyrics proclaimed what they said didn’t exist.

©2022 Jeanne Torrence Finley

The song was “There Are No Words,” written by folksinger Kitty Donohoe on September 11, 2001, and here sung by Noel Paul Stookey on his 2022 album FAZZ:NOW&THEN.

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