Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11 +4

Grass by Carl Sandburg:
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—

I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:

What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

Chicagoans understand regrowth. The fire that destroyed that young city inspired my alma mater's mascot, the phoenix.

As a nation, we understand regrowth.

Gettysburg has gone from a bloody scar on the land to a grassy field, indistinguishable from every other field in rural Pennsylvania.

The hole in the sky left four years ago is still a gaping void, but the subway station and PATH terminal at Ground Zero are functioning again, and the hole is getting ready for new construction. The New York sky won't be incomplete forever.

I just got word that a cousin who works for DHS is training to help out in No Man's Land, and the training started outside of Gettysburg.

We'll rebuild. The Gulf won't be empty forever.