The Day After September 11

what I remember

how blue the sky  I was at work on 42nd Street

we watched from the roof then

walked in a big urgent mass  so often refugees

tell stories of walking away

walking somewhere safe we picked up Noah

from school took him to a packed Greek diner

eggs and toast and normalcy to explain

what people do yesterday we listened to Caliphate

about ISIS what it means

to come from Yemen to see Guantanamo and Syria

what it means to do something to help we try all of us

for dailiness for each other for eggs and understanding

we try to walk together where we can all be safe



Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Wonderful poem capturing the felt horror of the adult and the need to keep normalcy for the kid–and perhaps ourselves as well. My one daughter, a teacher, had to cope with her own reactions while calming a classroom of children who were confused about why parents were coming in picking then up –not all at once–so those still waiting were in fear. One child said, “we’re probably the safest because they wouldn’t want to bomb us up here in Harlem.” Then she walked all the way home from Harlem to Park Slope. I was in the Berkshires, in fear for both my kids and their significant others all in NY on that day, unable to reach any of them on the phone. I was in a doctor’s office being tested for a possible cancerous lump that morning when all the doctors left patients in the examining rooms as they gathered in the lobby watching tv. Eventually all of us in our johnny gowns came out to see what was going on –backsides not covered up–and joined them, glued to the horror we were seeing.

  2. I wasn’t thinking about 9/11 this year because of the Festival of Women Writers. It was nice.Then I hit the wall. Thank you ‘mourning’ news. I can’t imagine life in Syria with a 9/11 everyday of their lives.

    1. Dear Dee so exciting for us all to be in your church and in HOBART and to have our words on the board for everyone to see. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
      Yes 9/11 impossibly complex. And sad. But hope is who we are. x

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