After September 11th (Revised from “After”) (R7+ )

After September 11th (revised from “After”)

After,
a little girl carried an umbrella
everyday to the school with the dust,
a hardhat found a restaurant menu
and an unopened package of children’s bibs

After fallen jumper cables,
cables, beams, jumpers, bodies
heat and fire, fallen
firefighters, police, hardhats,
lady’s hat with feathers
pearls

After,
an orphan, a widow, and
for son and daughter
mother and father
friend
the end of them
in dust, in vapor
crushed
everyone

A little girl carries an umbrella to school
on a sunny day, every day —
she is afraid. Once

her mother had taken her home from school
through a crowd of silent strangers in a dust storm
and no one knew what to say, but
she went to her room
to play with her dolls
her mother looking sad, staying silent
more than a moment of silence

and the bells ring
waterfalls collect tears
after

Will an umbrella work
after

hats, scarves, pearls, feathers
war is declared on a pearl

— Douglas Gilbert

After

AFTER

After,
a little girl carried an umbrella
everyday to the school with the dust,
a hardhat found a restaurant menu
and an unopened package of children’s bibs

After fallen jumper cables,
cables, beams, jumpers, bodies
heat and fire, fallen
firefighters, police, hardhats,
lady’s hat with feathers
pearls

After,
an orphan, a widow, and
for son and daughter
mother and father
friend
the end of them
in dust, in vapor
crushed
everyone

A little girl carried an umbrella to school:
she is afraid —
her mother took her home from school
through a crowd of silent strangers,
no one knew what to say, but
she went to her room
to play with her dolls
her mother looking sad, staying silent
more than a moment of silence

and the bells ring
waterfalls collect tears
after

Will an umbrella work
after

hats, scarves, pearls, feathers
war is declared on a pearl