Aftermath of Terror
Gayle Cook, September 14, 2001

  for meaning behind someone dying
to cause such pain instead of prevent it,
that anyone could commit such horror
(while really believing
only madness could drive them)
  for loved ones in the rubble
for gratitude that some could call
moments before disaster
(gratitude to a technology
oft seeming run amok)
for those lost trying to save lives
  for those involved in terror
for those who supported them
with money, intelligence, and other efforts
for those who yet might be willing to kill
for understanding how any could rejoice
(while not really wanting to understand)
  for ease, for a way to lessen such pain
that tears at the soul, finding that
coming together lessens the pain
that speaking of pain starts the healing
  for love amid the hate
that we do not sink
to such levels of terror
of hating those who disagree
  for moments of pride
for moments of gratitude
at how we come together
among the carnage
  for some way to prevent future strikes
(by striking back?)
for some way to guarantee our safety
(but at what price?)
preventing more pain and horror and loss
without surrendering who we are
  for ways to help, any way
to reach out to those hurting
worse than ourselves,
to those still searching
  for a better response than hatred and revenge
that just creates more hatred and revenge
for the strength not to blame those
who share a common ancestry or religion
with those who brought so much pain
  for hope, for meaning to the losses
of people, of innocence, of belief
that some things are too horrible
to contemplate
  for justice claiming the culprits
for security that it not happen again
for peace to sleep at night,
to board a plane,
to ride an elevator high into the air
for joy again, any joy ever again.

Gayle says that anyone is free to use this as long as they include her name wherever they use it.

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