“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.