Saturday, September 10, 2011

Try to Remember

An excerpt from a collection of poems:
The introduction below is a record of my experience on the day the Twin Towers were hit. I include the poem from which the title of the collection is taken.


We built a new house in the year 2000, a reproduction of a center chimney Cape Cod style – a snug solid box in the middle of forty acres of woods, crossed and crossed again by old stone walls. We blasted ledge for the foundation and hydro-fractured the well to open fissures in the bedrock for water to flow.

A few months after moving in, lightning struck a pine tree on the hill surrounding us, and followed the water flowing through the ledge to the house, melting the emergency switch on our furnace, creating clouds of smoke and fear. We had lightning rods installed on September 11, 2001. The two young men who did the work stood with us, frozen in place, watching live coverage of the airplanes that slammed into the Twin Towers.

The title I chose for this collection of poems is a line from the poem Escape in section one, entitled “Try to Remember”. The words “flowing in old stone” seem to be contradictory, meaningless – suitable only as metaphor – much like the truth of our lives.


High window,
shadow in the glass,
branch of thorns
scratching a code of escape -
an old temptation.

A cart path
winding in lilacs,
open gate
oven bird haunting at dusk,
sunset glow on grass.

flowing in old stone,
shy dark ferns,
brushing at a window pane
whispering to me.

I pray that America will remain safe tomorrow.

Read more memories at
Thank you to Mark Kerstetter


  1. escape...yes is a temptress...but at what a loss...really like the textures of this, as nature is communicating...whispering...and nice visuals...

  2. memories flowing in old stone was a great line, wonderfully vivid piece, as per usual.

  3. This is exquisite Ann-- oh, those high windows and their shadows--love the phrase "code of escape"-- and with Brian on texture in this poem-- without identifying with that bewilderment over that which is not supposed to happen, i.e. 911 vs the violation of the lightning-- you wouldn't have the artillery for this and other poems, perhaps...xxxj

  4. the code of this and the stones and ferns make for an excellent texture in your poem

  5. One of your most subtle and flowing pieces, Ann--and even the word 'pieces' seems appropriate for your striking continuity amidst the rubble, and your current of connection that ties things to a whole we barely perceive one atom of.

  6. I live in the lightning capital of the world. Yesterday a man doing his job was struck by lightning and killed. He was 21.

    The strange coincidence of the damage, the smoke, the apprehension you surely felt happening when it did provides a fascinating introduction to your poem, which is very beautiful. Thank you.

  7. Memories and the images on the TV were shocking and I just could not believe what I was seeing. I was half a world away from here but still on the islands we all felt this pain and held a memorial service to say a silent prayer for all right after it happened.

  8. Your prayer at the end summarizes the change that 9/11 wrought-- a different level of fear, change, wonder, questioning, and bringing for many perhaps, a new and urgent need to pray.
    Lovely words as always, Ann.