Saturday, September 10, 2011

America, america (this piece was written on 9-11-01 and originally published in the 9-11 Memorial Edition of the Adelphi Society for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy Newsletter of which I was editor for several years ).

Oh beautiful for spacious skies
cut deep by silver steel
For purple mountain majesties
above the

American, america
heart cut
and bled and teared
Lift now
her face
from evil
from al
that now
is feared

Told us they
did of
of hand held
fast and
those purple mountains
above a rising

America, america
I gave my heart
to thee through bombs
that fell
and napalms
hell I held
you close to me

America, america
I marched and sung
and cried
for liberty, equality
for others lost and died

We learned of
pots of melted
a land of one
for all
A special land
where freedom
rang a universal

A place where
free we all
could be
no crematorium
sweet stink
the evil
things that
happened then
too distant far
to think

And through it all
our self-control
belief in moral
a land that's
free for all
to be whatever is
felt right

We didn't always
get along
We didn't all agree
But that we learned
was just the point
of sweetest liberty

And so our
buildings went
our skies
and free
our streets marched
through by many feet
for causes differently

America, america
I gave my heart
to thee
to noble
cause and
idealized flaws
in name of

It served us well
until this
hell unleashed
its heinous face
but never more
than here a door
to courage
rich embrace

It takes no
strength to fight
for right when
fear is far away
when babies cry
in distant lands
and others
starve and die

Our alabaster
cities now
agleam with
tears and dust
From this came
we to liberty
As then and now we must

American, america
I gave my heart to thee
gave my belief
a child of grief
to dream
of liberty

All children
of a certain age
with crisp
that we stood
so much
taller then
and that we did believe

American, america
it's simple
to believe
when safe and
warm and tall
and strong
invincible we seemed

American, america
for oh so very long
we've mouthed
the words
without a test
of right against what's wrong

America, america
you raised me in your
So strong
and warm
and held so high
america is no lie...


....and tonight 10 years later I quickly write...

We went to bear witness
one or two days later
maybe three
counting was odd
in those melted clock days

Blocks away the strobe
lights lit the streets
and in my mouth and
nose I breathed in
the acrid ash of crematorium dust



  1. This shows how we all felt on that dreadful day! Such powerful images and the remembrance of the horror of that experience. Thank you for sharing and you can see the angst you felt as you wrote this!

  2. Hi Barbara... Did catch a typo and I am entranced by the enormous surge of patriotism and protectiveness that was felt on that day...Obviously not one of my "better" poems but as I said one that was written in the moment and except for the typo correction and the removal of a contraction in the last line... think that the almost child-like love, shock and determination is a reminder for how so many felt on that still surreal now proverbial bright September morning...when the world as we knew it tilted.