9/11 Epic Poem Chapter 1

CHAPTER ONE (The Way It All Began)
The thunder fell that night in hell;
            The Devil roused his mates.
The demon hosts and ancient ghosts
            Came storming through her gates.
The Specter Death released his breath
            That night by future graves;
And killers sworn to die next morn’ 
            Embraced the sleep of slaves.
 
In strippers’ clubs and topless pubs[1] 
            These phonies had been seen.  
There’s been reports of sordid sports
            Their culture calls obscene.
They bore a grudge and came to judge
            The way our women dress;
But when they stayed they likewise paid
            To view some naked flesh.           
 
At dawn’s first light they caught their flights
            With lust beneath their eyes.
It gave them pride to help decide
            Which person lives or dies.
Each smiling face that took its place
            Was added to the tray,
Of sumptuous pies that helped comprise
            This killing-feast buffet.
 
The sun was bright, the wind was slight,
            As planes were taking off.
The flight control was packed and full,
            With many jets aloft.
A scattered shroud of fog and cloud
            Was present in the west;
But otherwise the spacious skies
            Were showing off their best.
 
The pilots strained to raise their planes
            To higher altitudes, 
Where jets could cruise while patrons snoozed
            For lengthy interludes.
A stewardess took first requests
            For omelets, rolls, and fruits;[2]
While businessmen took time to tend
            The neckties on their suits.
 
As engines roared the crews ignored
            A group of scattered youths,
Whose nervous poise and lack of noise
            Provided subtle clues.
The sat alone with eyes of stone,
            Like rejects at a prom;
Or feeble grooms, when marriage looms,
            Who’d rather stay with mom.
 
Their throats felt weak; they could not speak,
            Apart from nods and sighs.
No friendly taunts nor chatty aunts
            Could garner long replies.
They must not reach in thought or speech
            To others in that throng,
Lest intercourse would breed remorse
            And tell them they were wrong.
 
They kept their spots with tortured thoughts
            Amongst their hated foes.
A deed this great seemed more like fate,
            Than something that they chose.
They closed their brains as they’d been trained,
            To keep their feelings blind;
For fear they might be damned on site,
            If now they’d change their mind.
 
The airplane lurched but still they perched:
            Impatient and alert.
But one had gone inside the john,
            To peel back his shirt.
He took some clay, the theories say,[3]
            And shaped the edge just right;
And stripped it back to build a pack
            That looked like dynamite.
 
His friends outside, though petrified,
            Were set for what was next.
They’d yell out loud to scare the crowd,
            And snap the pilots’ necks.
They held their breath and dreamed of death,
            As throats began to burn;
But through their fear they now could hear
            The door begin to turn.        
 
They grabbed their knives and cursed their lives,
            By spelling out their choice.
The fiends below who watched the show
            Had reasons to rejoice.
Their lairs were filled with men who killed
            To pay some groundless score;
And down in hell, if things went well,
            They’d soon have nineteen more.
 
While quoting psalms they showed the bombs,
            To keep the crowd at bay.
As pilots died they frankly lied
            About their plans that day.
Their speech was curt: “You won’t be hurt—[4]
            Now shut up and behave.”
But those they cursed could face the worst;
            More strong, more blest, more brave.
 
As judgment loomed the planes were doomed,
            But God stood back and hid.
And folks today still often say
            They don’t know why He did.  
The timid men repeat again:
            “You have to keep your faith.”
While others dare to now declare
            That God is just a wraith.
 
Then all those jets like gambler’s bets
            Exploded in debris.
But one did not achieve the spot
            They chose initially.
For on this flight there was a fight
            With luggage, bags, and fists.
And while it pitched the plane was ditched
            By stubborn terrorists. 
 
We don’t know why they chose to die; 
            But in some sense we do.
We all have sinned when reason thinned;
            We’re all insurgents too.
We all have hate; we’re all ingrate,
            With egos out our ears;
When hope’s renounced, our love gets trounced,
            By pressure from our peers.
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