The telephone rang. I rolled out of bed
and zigzaged my way to the nearest telephone
about five feet away. Hello, I said.
Do you have the TV on? The voice on the other
wanted to know. No, I matter-of-factly replied.
Turn it on! The caller urged. OK,
my voice still thick with sleep.
I walked to the nearest television -- in the family room
across the hallway about 12 feet away.
I turned the TV on and Dan Rather was on Channel 9
and Tom Brokaw on Channel 4.
My brain was still in sleep mode,
and having heard about an earthquake the day before,
I went back to the telephone and asked,
Is this about the earthquake?
No, said the voice on the other end.
A plane just hit the Pentagon! he informed me.
By the way, who am I speaking with? I wanted to know.
It’s Fred! He said.
Fred and his wife Diane are dear friends;
I shook my husband Karl out of bed and
I went back to the television room.
I stayed with CBS and Rather and I saw
tall building engulfed in fire and figures
flying out of window from
Suddenly a plane hit the building behind
the burning building.
The clock on the wall clicked 5:55.
Thus began September 11, 2001
at one home in Po’ipu, Kaua’i, Hawai’i,
some 5,000 miles away from the scene of infamy.
After watching half hour of unthinkable terror
I called Fred to thank him for thinking of us.
I went back to the television,
this time in the living room
where Karl and I, together and separately,
watched the attack on America,
hour after hour, day and night
during the painful week that followed.
The sadness that 9/11 brought
is lodged deep in my heart,
And my eyes still fill up with tears
when images from that day
replay themselves in my thoughts.
Karl and I lived on Governors Island
across the southern tip of Manhattan
for 4-1/2 years when Karl was serving
in the United States Coast Guard.
We watched at close range the building of the Twin Towers
which unconscionable acts of terrorism
have demolished, marring beyond words and belief
New York City’s distinctive landscape.