Gray Snow on Sacred Ground

The “toot-toot” of the horn echoes back down the tube to the Jersey side,
And announces to the multitude ahead eminent arrival of the PATH Train.
Our space explodes from snug darkness to expansive, unbearable brightness.
We emerge from the tunnel like an easy delivery into a harsh, new world.

The World Trade Center Memorial under construction, Nov. 13, 2011. (Photo by Larry Garland)

On the train we catch our breath at the sight spread out before us.
Open to the brutally cold air is a Pick-Up-Stix tangled mess of new steel beams—
A work in progress—a phoenix rising through a shroud of dirty snow.
The steel springs up and grabs again for the sky,
Like hearty hyacinths announcing no matter what, spring will come.
Yet, that hope ishard to spot through gray snow on sacred ground.

Though platform people, eager for my seat, jockey for door position,
This train is mindful of the holy site and does not hurry.
It reverently arcs an angle around the two sacred footprints,
Honoring the negative space where swim the prayers of millions.

When at last the train does stop, with that great gush of a sigh—swoosh!
We exit promptly, racing out of that sacrificial space, that holy place,
Having said another prayer, sending another poignant goodbye.



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