September 11th Epic Poem Chapter 2

The Following is chapter 2 of the September 11th Epic Poem. The rough draft was written between June 2008 and May 2010. It is 2,000 lines long and has 1,499 rhyming pairs.

 
CHAPTER TWO   (New York City)        
As Tuesday dawned a nation yawned
            And faced a day of sweat.
Their human hearts had metal parts
            With Lincoln’s silhouette. 
A penny made is int’rest paid
            To mortgage back your dreams,
But ev’ry seed that’s sown in greed
            Will leave by other means.
 
In old New York a day of work
            Was starting to unfold.
The younger pants came in advance
            To out compete the old.
But no one knew as daylight grew
            That death was on the slot;                         
That vapor lanes from giant planes     
            Were closing on their spot.                 
 
On crowded streets the yellow fleets
            Were fighting for their turns.
And homeless folks cast scornful jokes
            At bleary-eyed interns.
The drivers cussed while taxis bussed
            Their loads of human freight,
As endless plights of crimson lights
            Were forcing them to wait.    
 
But as they stood the neighborhood
            Was startled by a sound,
That rattled glass and spooked a mass
            Of pigeons on the ground.
While drivers swerved their eyes observed
            The towers on the mall:
For as they steered a jet appeared
            And rammed into the wall.
 
“Oh holy shit, the tower’s hit!”      
            The watchers all exclaimed.
Bewildered eyes surveyed the skies
            For answers unexplained.
The people froze, but voices rose,  
            Astonished, scared, and awed; 
The very same who swore in vain
            Invoked the name of God.
 
The time and space seemed stuck in place
            Upon those sacred halls.
The plane was drowned without a sound
            In glass and steel walls.
The scene was bright as waves of light
            Confirmed their greatest fears.
As moments passed, the noisy blast
            Abruptly reached their ears.
 
For many blocks the aftershocks
            Were rippling face to face.
And talks were struck to reconstruct
            The scene that just took place.
The crowd outcropped and traffic stopped
            As pedals hit the floors;
And all around you heard the sound
            As drivers opened doors.
 
“My God, the sight; my brother’s plight!”
            yelled someone with his head.
The tower burned and people yearned
            To know if friends were dead.
For those come down from out of town
            It almost made them ill,
And those who cried for kin inside 
            Could barely look at will.
 
As moments passed the humans massed
            In groups of four or five.
They did not care who else was there,
            Just glad to be alive.
The greater creed of instant need
            Compelled them to be friends,
Whose goings through became the glue
            That joined unlikely ends.
 
They shared their hugs and friendly shrugs
            When words could not express
The prayers they made for meager aid
            To fight their helplessness.
The tower’s rise above their eyes
            Became a hellish lens,
When human souls in bitter throes
            Jumped screaming to their ends.
 
 
With fearful awe at what they saw
            The watchers swore and raved.
Their focus now became on how
            Survivors could be saved.
As musings grew on what to do
            They heard a welcome noise:
The crimson fleets were flooding streets     
            With hook and ladder boys.
 
Their sirens blared to tell the scared
            That help was getting through.
They came in force to face the worst; 
            Aware what they must do.      
With boots well-shined, their rigs on time,
            They bounced along the route;
And rushed to quell the burning hell,
            While most were rushing out.
 
No time to lose their engines cruised   
            Down busy boulevards.
Past stores, and malls, and public halls,
            And sometimes urban yards.   
The quickest path to face the wrath
            Was just the path they took.
They made a race to reach the place
            The tower burned and shook.
 
Above their eyes the cobalt skies
            Were masked in smoke and flame.
The men could taste the need for haste
            The closer that they came.
They too, could see, the hot debris
            Lay strewn around nearby,
And heard the thumps when victims jumped
            From ninety stories high.
 
With lengthy strides they rushed inside,
            Afraid they’d do no good.
But nonetheless they did their best        
            To save the ones they could.
We wonder why they had to die
            For some beyond their aid,
But very few who made it through
            Are sorry that they stayed. 
 
 
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