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The Frozen Zone

Soft autumn breezes rattle
The first crackling leaves
Dancing in crazy spirals
Across the graying asphalt
Silted with ash
Slick with tears

A surreal montage
Helmets and hoses
Buckets and backhoes
Streaked faces etched in horror
Working, hoping, working,
Debris flaming red as leaves
flutters the air

Amid unthinkable chaos,
A stillness grows
Enfolding souls lost
Souls at a loss
The world stops
Frozen in one aching moment
Then another, and another

But soft autumn breezes rattle
The first crackling leaves
And redden warm child cheeks
Hands reaching hands
Holding tight
Holding tighter

and the thaw begins

In memory of those who lost their lives September 11

In hope for those of us they leave behind

Sue Pelletier, September 2001