Tuesday, September 6, 2011
9/11: St. Paul's Chapel Poem
St. Paul's Chapel
It stood. Not a window broken. Not a stone dislodged.
It stood when nothing else did.
It stood when terrorists brought September down.
It stood among myths. It stood among ruins.
To stand was its purpose, long lines prove that.
It stands, and around it now, a shrine of letters,
poems, acrostics, litter of the heart.
It is the standing people want:
To grieve, serve and tend
celebrate the lasting stone of St. Paul's Chapel.
And deep into its thick breath, the largest banner
fittingly from Oklahoma climbs heavenward
with hands as stars, hands as stripes, hands as a flag;
and a rescuer reaches for a stuffed toy
to collect a touch;
and George Washington's pew doesn't go unused.
Charity fills a hole or two.
It stood in place of other sorts.
It stood when nothing else could.
The great had fallen, as the brute hardware came down.
by J. Chester Johnson