“Things You Don’t Write About 9/11/2001” by Stanley Anne Zane Latham

It was an ordinary train ride
You, me, Leita, and Dan
We didn’t mean to get separated.

We didn’t mean anything
in those days. We were
in college. It seemed

like we were rebels. Our parents
ate cabbage; our parents. Gosh,
we thought, what happened to them?

We simply got on a train. We didn’t
tell them. We were skipping school,
old enough to be our own.

I have to tell them, you loved me.
Dan loved Leita. I loved you.
We all kind of loved.

It was supposed to be
a simple day in New York.
It was supposed to be

A simple day in New York.

You don’t want me to bring
our life after this back
to this. Moment. There

is nothing like an almost.
In the aftermath, when the train
stopped, when no one was

ever the same again; i mean
the conductor said – Do you remember
what the conductor said?

i remember : it was a morning train
i remember : the birds flying at the windows
i remember : You shrouding me across

the platform.

i had you. You had me.
Dan had Leita, Leita had Dan.
We were never the same.

by Stanley Anne Zane Latham.


Note: I remember reading this poem last year on September 12. My good friend Michelle sent it to me, saying, “You HAVE to read this.” Well, I did: read it and have to. And it has haunted me every day since, much like that tragic day fifteen years ago.

Gratitude to Eric Robert Nolan (friend of the poet) who originally shared this piece on his blog.

8 thoughts on ““Things You Don’t Write About 9/11/2001” by Stanley Anne Zane Latham

    1. Poem copied from Poetry Foundation.org

      Photograph from September 11
      By Wisława Szymborska
      Translated by Clare Cavanagh

      They jumped from the burning floors—
      one, two, a few more,
      higher, lower.

      The photograph halted them in life,
      and now keeps them
      above the earth toward the earth.

      Each is still complete,
      with a particular face
      and blood well hidden.

      There’s enough time
      for hair to come loose,
      for keys and coins
      to fall from pockets.

      They’re still within the air’s reach,
      within the compass of places
      that have just now opened.

      I can do only two things for them—
      describe this flight
      and not add a last line.

      Wisława Szymborska, “Photograph from September 11” from Monologue of a Dog. Copyright © 2005 by Wisława Szymborska. Reprinted with permission of Harcourt, Inc.
      Source: Monologue of a Dog (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005)


  1. Another powerful one for today. Spacing and breaks did not copy well, see original post at Rattle for formatting.

    From Rattle Magazine:


    Vicki Iorio


    Because I have privacy issues
    Because Don DeLillo wrote Falling Man
    Because of people
    Because I have survivor’s guilt
    Because my ex-husband’s new wife’s boss died in one of the towers
    Because I felt a tinge of pleasure and wished it had been the new wife
    Because of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—what is there left to say?
    Because my daughter was thirteen when the world spun out of her control
    Because the night of that day we heard airplanes in the sky when there were no planes flying
    Because my daughter would not leave her bedroom
    Because she stopped going to school
    Because I worked for the Department of Defense
    Because we were herded into the black ops room
    Because my Commander was crying
    Because driving home on the parkway, the overhead message, Manhattan is Closed, came at me like a head on collision
    Because of what it has become
    Because of what I have become
    Because my mother lived through Pearl Harbor
    Because her brothers came home from that war old men
    Because JFK was shot
    Because Viet Nam was my TV dinner
    Because ringing a bell and calling out names like a somber graduation doesn’t cut it
    Because the Freedom Tower is America giving the bird to the birds
    Because we all wear ribbons or tiny rhinestone flags
    Because it’s OK to bless America
    Because we all need a blessing
    Because there were heroes that day
    Because God wasn’t one of them
    Because of the last phone calls
    Because of the missing
    Because on windy days I open my mouth and swallow smoke and ash

    —Poets Respond
    September 11, 2016


    Vicki Iorio: “This Sunday is 9/11. I thought I never would write about the event, but I am giving a poetry reading this Sunday and I wanted to acknowledge the sadness.”

    Liked by 1 person

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