Days of 2001 -- Charles Cantalupo

The time is transparent
As a hospital I D bracelet.
A newborn's footprint
Makes an icon,
And meaning threads
A bead on a bird's nest.

A cook's fingers in flour
Want summer in winter.
In bed an artist
Paints the sheets,
And a father loves to eat
The core and all.

But what if no more planes
Fly over, no more trains
Blow through the valley
At night with sweet sleep,
And the golden fields
With their green mountains

Refuse to weep
No matter how many
Thunderheads roll through?
What if no music,
Even a "Shenandoah,"
Relaxes at the end of the day

And ruins can't be beautiful?
What if my language
Can't express the evil
In thousands of innocents
Murdered, but I know it
And try to remember the words?

I first want to sound
Like the violin she plays,
Meeting the survivors
Coated in ashes and souls
And streaming over the bridge,
Away from the bombed out towers.

I want to say
"I'm free," like an old man
Dancing in the street
With a tape player to his ear,
While his sons blink and rub
Their newly shaven faces.

And like his daughters
Lifting their veils
I also want to say,
"We're women,
What did you think?"
Before I reread Hell.

Table of Contents
Titanic Operas Home Page