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NEW YORK, MAY 29, 2002
The last warped beams have gotten barged out to Fresh Kills
From the smoking, powdered basements of Ground Zero.
My husband begins his new job in Murray Hill
Tomorrow morning. He stays alive, no hero.
We both got downsized by toppling towers without
Getting crushed between floors, have eaten only jam
Sandwiches for months now. Who can complain about
This while we are still breathing airborne toxins damn
Fiercely, inhaling the gray ash of our neighbors
Who thus will never be entombed until we are?
Wall Street workers trudge about graveyards and labor
In the mud of corpses, run the company car
Over blackened bones--in other words, the City
Is back to business as before, much the pity.
HOW THINGS HAVE GOTTEN TO THIS POINT
While tyrants stalk us, ardent academicians
Bury their noses deeper in their dusty books
And ignore our shouts in the street for physicians
For this sick city. "Yes," these inveterate schnooks
Mutter to themselves in the library's corners,
"I'll write an article about this injustice
For a geopolitical journal!" Mourners
Wail outside the window of the flying-buttressed
Ivory tower, but these thinkers' protest march
Is to the stacks, not to the bunkers, not to fight,
Not even with their words, in the bloodied boulevards.
Today's Christalnacht is tomorrow's chapter's note,
Not a wrong to right today--just a new wrong note.
Anne Babson, New York City
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