Teaching Nine Eleven

Yesterday the Russian Hockey team
took a dive bomb
and were pulled from the
wreckage, still
strapped in their seats,
waiting to see God.

Today, blue carpet and black
chairs point towards oversized
CNN Headlines:
“TEACHING 9/11.”

I’ve already scoped
the room for brown people,
identified two.
Headgear? Male? Female?
It’s a ritual now.

Ten years ago, almost,
waiting for United,
a turbaned stranger triggered
a facial tic.

I wasn’t the only one looking.

Today, the plane’s brakes screech and groan,
scratch the runway,
drown out my whispered prayers
and chanted mantras
to keep the tic from taking over.

Today, when landing, we tip
left to right, leaning sideways,
seatbelts straining to keep us in our seats.

We wait for God,
murmur sighs and gasps of relief
when God overlooks us,
this time.

There’s no need to teach Nine Eleven.

We’ve already learned.

Ursula Stuter
September 9, 2011


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