From the poem "Not Like TV" by Jaime Adoff
"As I turn the corner, reality smacks me in the face and kicks me in the stomach.
Its not like what you see
That last piece of twisted metal hovering over what once was.
Looking like the grim reaper, five stores high..."
"They carry untold souls on their shoulders, buckets of agony in twelve-hour shifts.
Digging through hell, I can tell, they've seen things a person should never have to see.
Seen things they'll want to forget, but never will....
My thoughts drift away on smoke and ash
as the last recovery worker passes by . . .
His hard hat twisted, like it's trying to slide off his head.
One side of overalls falls down to very wide waist.
Everything on his body—trying to run away. Trying to escape.
He looks through me, through the small crowd.
Walking past a newswoman interviewing a cop, he doesn't stop.
I turn my head and he's gone. Gone into the dust.
You can feel the loss of life pouring through the gat, you can feel . . .
all the husbands and wives and sons and daughters and fathers
and mothers and brothers and sisters . . .
I'm taking it all in, trying to at least.
It's too much. All the suffering starts to seep into my pores, filling
me with despair and
pain, and hate—but there's a moment. A second where I think I
can feel what they felt,
what they felt in that instant the sky fell, and the ground caved
in below them.
For a second, I think I can feel
What they felt . . .
For a second
I think I can.
For a second.
It's not like what you see
not like that at all . . .
In 911: The Book of Help, award-winning writers share their responses to the September 11, 2001 tragedy and describe the heroism of those who first rushed to help. The works in 911 are donated, and 50 percent of the net proceeds will go to a charity assisting children and spouses of victims.
Authors and Artists who contributed their work:
Marion Dane Bauer
James Cross Giblin
Walter Dean Myers
Naomi Shihab Nye
Suzanne Fisher Staples
Virginia Euwer Wolff