Annie Louise Twitchell
They say he’s a hero now but
they don’t understand that he
was always a hero to me. All
I know is that my daddy’s gone
and he’s not ever coming home
and Mommy cries herself to
sleep each night -she got rid of
their big bed and has a little one
like me now so she doesn’t have
an empty space where he ought to be.
And our dog waits at the door
every morning for a walk and
he never gets it and he gives up
after a while and lies down
under the kitchen table and licks
my bare feet when I sit down to
eat my breakfast.
I miss my daddy’s morning kisses,
three of them all lined up in a row,
as he gets me apple juice in
my pink cup with black stripes
– a pink zebra.
I miss running with him and
pretending to get tired and
getting him to carry me all
the way home on his shoulders.
I miss stopping for ice cream
every Saturday on the way home
from the dump and I miss soap wars
while he and Mommy do the dishes
and I miss Mommy laughing.
She doesn’t laugh anymore, and I wish she could.
There’s so many ‘ands’ now
but there’s one that’s missing:
me and Mommy
Today marks the fifteenth anniversary since 9/11. I had this poem show up in my head a few days ago and it dawned on me yesterday that it would be rather appropriate for today.
We remember. This poem is for the men and women who lost their lives fifteen years ago today, and especially for the ones who lost their lives to try and save others. Those people who died, not just in the immediate attack but in the aftermath and rescue, they weren’t just names and numbers, they were people like those I live every day of my life around. They had lives and families and children and parents and spouses. And those were left to try and carry on as best as one can after such a loss.
They each had a story to tell and we don’t necessarily know much about it except the ending. And for that ending, for what they did in service to other people just like them and just like you and me, I’ll always be grateful. We need heroes. And we need to not forget that heroes aren’t always the ones we hear about, the big names and the great heroic acts, but that heroes are often the guy next door, the woman down the street, the police officer on the side of the road.
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Image credits to original artists