Ground Zero: 4 Weeks On

The smell
burning     acrid       insidious
the space       surrounding City Hall     empty,
gates locked
police standing idle       patrolling
plain clothes on the grand steps
with cell phone.
Barricades      separating the life of the city
from the ruins of death
the skyline punctured
pilings twisted       girders warped
cranes stretching        earth movers shunting
buildings still standing damaged
corners smashed away
sides pitted           windows empty
a landmark church blackened.

Soldiers control    pedestrian traffic
New Yorkers gaze in silence
gently moving
from one intersection      to the next
geography distorted
cameras collecting memorials
the dislocation continuous.

Hawkers peddle
post cards, memorial ribbons, flags.
Large trucks lumber by
their cargo     the detritus of evil
while life revives
the small acts of the ordinary


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Copyright 2017© by Peter D. Goodwin