It rained paper when the first plane hit,
Like a ticker tape parade.
What was prelude to our holocaust,
Was but a celebratory charade.
Inside the towers it rained jet fuel.
Down so many floors it rained,
That sharp, tart, unmistakable smell.
Realization, then the flames.
It brought heroes from the firehouses,
NYFD blazoned on their backs,
An acronym, meaning: Member,
Society of selfless acts.
It brought New Yorkers to the streets,
Horror on their upturned faces.
Their only cue to what transpired,
The Towers’ black and gaping places.
Each witness wrestled with reality.
The truth impossible to grasp.
Two planes! Both towers! No accident!
Surely they will not collapse!
It rained people from the Towers,
As soot-faced survivors fled the fire.
The good-fortuned from floors below the wound,
The jumpers rained from floors up higher.
For hours the Towers rained firey death,
Til a peal of thunder rumbled,
Long and deep like the sigh of “Why?”
And then the Towers crumbled.
It rained concrete turned to plaster dust.
It rained daggers made of glass.
It smothered the streets like winter snow,
With thick, gray toxic ash.
It rained the lives of innocents.
It rained American tears.
And I cry for the America we lost.
Gone now, these long ten years.