Moment of Silence

The moment of silence,
of remembrance and reverence,
hung thick in the air,
out of place.
An invited intruder
that compels us
to stop

and listen –  for once.

The stillness moves us,
allows memories to flood
into hearts and eyes
so that we can almost see
with profound cognizance
what most often gets lost
in the crowded sounds
of life.

We listened – until,

the voice of a child,
caught up in his own moment,
broke the silence,
provoking a, “sssshhhhh” from his mother,
while others scowled,
convincing him to sit quietly
beside his deafening confusion.
Crying silently, he fit
right in.

The moment – lost.

~ smj

“No music, no pomp, just images and silence….

12 Comments to “Moment of Silence”

  1. For young children our behaviors must sometimes create confusion and fear…a fine poem IMHO.

    • Right… I initially, had a line in this poem – “Some things need to be taught… or do they?”… but, wound up editing it out… still, it’s sometimes a fine line between trying to teach basic understanding, or values and respect vs. fear and confusion…. and, really, I wonder sometimes, just who is missing the real point… ? Ok.. I’m rambling… sorry… This one hits a lil nerve for me and covers more ground than just 911…

      • multiple statements :-)
        none were missed!
        (glad to see you back
        even if it’s only going to
        be a brief visit every
        now and then.)

        • Thank you for the read and for the understanding…. I had been writing a bit more privately lately… just jounralling and needed a little space… however, I just started another lil class… so, I expect to be more publicly productive again… =)

  2. I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed by all the 10th anniversary hype. Mostly it coincided with a personal anniversary date that can be difficult to navigate. This was somehow a greater magnitude for me and also comforting. It’s so easy to forget that children are still lucky enough to be free from so many preconceived beliefs about the world. They are the eyes that can lead us through the dark.

    • Hi Jaymie… Good to see you, and thanks for your comment. I know what you mean… the hype goes a little crazy. sometimes.. (a “little”?). Yes, those eyes… of a child.. can lead us – if only, we let them…

      Well, on 9-11-01, I was pregnant with my 2nd son… And my father, who lived with me, was just diagnosed as having 3-6 months to live. On that morning, I remember vividly watching the news unfold, with my father sitting beside me on the couch. At some point, I realized my father was sobbing. I had never seen him sob. I only saw him cry a couple times my whole life, and here he was – sobbing. I remember feeling the couch shaking… and when I tore my eyes from the TV and looked for the source, I saw my father… his shoulders, heaving… first in silence, and then, the terrible sobs. My father, who was a burn victim survivor himself, was watching the towers burn… the people jumping… falling.. and he kept saying, “all those people… all those people…” in between sobs. And, I realized, he really knew that kind of pain… fear… fire. I remember, that is when it hit me. When the whole severity and horror of what was happening, truly hit me…

      My father died in Feb 2002, so that was my last September with him. And, as painful and terrible as 9-11 was, and the memories it brings, I am at least glad I was with my father when it happened. It helps me remember him… picture him… vividly… If that makes any sense.

      My 2nd son was born in May 2002. He’s 9 now and doesn’t remember 9-11, or my father. He only knows what we teach him about both of these. I think about my own childhood, and the crazy things I was taught. I think about how we adults handle our grief and loss… and, hate…fear…. And what we are teaching without even realizing… and, what opportunities we may be MISSING out on in life, when we are too busy thinking about death… or hating… or being afraid….

      I do think we need to remember 9-11, along with so many OTHER tragedies, and of course, or own lost loved ones. But, remember, respect, grieve…. and then hopefully learn, grow, and focus on how to live better…

      Sorry… I sort of went off on a tangent, didn’t I?

      • dear samanthamj this note about your father has brought tears to my eyes. i feel such empathy for that moment for him and all that he was crying for, and for you and your journey. thank you for sharing this (the poem) and the story of your father. much love and hugs xxx

  3. You are really a gifted writer. I love those focal lines…the single lines in the in between stanzas that say so many different things depending on what you were feeling or how you read the stanza before…and you pull them off beautifully.

    • Raven. I’m glad you liked this. Thank you so much for the read, and very kind words. They came at a good time for me. I started taking my 2nd ever poetry class, and while I’ve been writing on a personal level forever, the class makes me realize how much I *don’t* know. I sometimes (often) feel like I have no business trying to write poetry at all.. LOL.. but, I need to remember that any kind of art is a matter self-expression, and how it is perceived is largely a matter of personal opinion, and preference…

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