About the Poem
I've felt the tragedy of the eleventh through my friends and family in the DC area. Though I've been trying to ignore the media, with their constant repetition, it's been hard to ignore the numbers that I overhear at school. I chose to reflect on the images I saw in the broadcasts instead of the terrifying numbers simply because those images had much more impact on me than any kind of staggering number.
The Concrete Garden
|by Philip Zemler|
|She has been climbing
The concrete stairs of heaven
For twelve years now, this December.
Traveling the mortal pathways
Between grace and humanity, her days
Are not numbered nor counted,
She can look out over
God’s steel garden
And see her siblings
Pass to and fro between
The petrified flowers,
Smiling and frowning
As chance may take them.
Liberty’s azure eyes are caught on occasion,
Standing proud just in the distance,
With her arm raised in victory.
She thumbs through papers
And files, smiling at a friend’s
Scribbled note or a memory
Oft picked over for just such moments.
A smile and a happy memory
Take her the final steps to Heaven
As the Angel of Death,
Riding rampant on black winds,
A crashing bolt of pain and suffering,
Rocks Heaven’s Stairway
In an explosion of steel and skin.
Heaven’s stairway crashes
In a dusty conflagration,
Shaking the souls of God’s concrete garden.
Liberty’s teary eyes look on,
With her arm raised in defiance.
The petrified flowers are silent,
Cringing in the morning’s sun,
Debris-strewn and ashy,
Witness to Hell’s wrath.