Wayne Michael DeHart
(Written July 4th, 2021, in anticipation of the observance of the 20th anniversary of 9/11)
enshrouded in haze,
these lionhearts emerged
as shadows from the rubble.
Fueled by fate, faith and fury,
they breathed in fumes from the maelstrom, then
pulled from the ashes – America’s soul.
homes we watched
unite on the ground.
Citizens of the world
paused their own woes, felt our pain,
as borderless empathy reigned.
The ache and the hurt never lessened
– ever – but the path to healing began.
to the challenge
was the call we heard.
faceless first responders mourned
their silenced brothers and sisters
present on the roll call of lives lost.
We stood with them as they had stood for us.
took up arms,
in those first years
after the planes came.
Wars ensued, burdens were borne.
Though worry weighed heavily
on loved ones back home, undaunted
men and women nobly gave back to
their country, their allies, as one, as all.
us – you, me –
the day the earth moved
as more than a datemark
for flags that gallantly streamed.
Those who served then, those who serve now,
and those who served in-between hold fast
and firm, fervent among compatriots.
Lament their loss,
each in our own way.
The deceased from that day,
and the uniformed thousands
who followed, await our salute.
Though the dust now be settled, the light
back in our days, still, the memory stays.
On that day of chaos that blocked the sun,
the peerless, the fearless, second to none,
raised themselves up, said “there’s work to be done.”
September eleventh, two-thousand one.
Finalist: US Army Veteran, Wayne Michael DeHart