The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

I Saw You Empire State Building
By Edwin Torres

I saw you Empire State Building
looking for your twin brothers
I saw you watching your brothers burning
helpless to the ground
I look up at you, tall proud beacon
I too am a tower
it's my last name in Spanish

I look at you
glistening in the morning
shining at night I saw you
watching your brothers die
they were beautiful
and tall although
I think you have more character
but, older brothers wear their age well

I saw you helpless
and wanted to comfort you but
you're too big to hug
so I just keep looking at you
crying for you
holding you in my stare
us towers
we have to stick together


There is a lot of what I know to be very bad poetry about September 11th out there, and not one poem yet that I would describe as a masterpiece. Even books by the best of writers -- Pete Hamill, Hugh Nissenson, Ian McEwan -- don't always get there, same as every piece of fiction I've ever read set during or in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust. Thus it is impossible for me to articulate why certain pieces of admirable writing about 9/11 leave me cold, while others -- even though I could speak as a critic about their flaws -- tear my guts.

After an uneventful morning of laundry, I went out to lunch with gblvr on Wednesday -- yay, Rio Grande Cafe -- and we did a bit of shopping -- yay, Halloween Kelly! Then I had to come home and fetch younger son for an orthodontist appointment. While there, I bumped into the mother of a boy he has gone to school with since he was two years old -- they have a daughter who is older son's age, so I've known them even longer -- and we chatted about Bar Mitzvah stuff while her four-year-old told me earnestly about his plans to have a Star Wars Bar Mitzvah and how his friend Jeremy had more Star Wars toys because he had Clone Wars. It was very amusing. We are looking into having a live penguin at younger son's Bar Mitzvah, which is something he really wants and the Maryland Zoo can do through their Animal Ambassadors program, but we have to coordinate it with a place that can get permission both to have a live animal and serve food on the premises...private restaurants are out and I'm not sure penguins are kosher in synagogue facilities.

Son had done an experiment in school about waves involving a Slinky and announced that he needed a Slinky to recreate said experiment -- I think actually he just wanted a Slinky -- so we stopped in the toy store in the mall to get one, where we also picked up a birthday present for his best friend. This was fortuitous, since right when we got home, we were all invited over for birthday cake that evening for the best friend, which was very nice! Before we went there, though, we had to drop the minivan off to find out what's wrong with the air conditioning that's making it squeak, so I will be without a vehicle tomorrow. This isn't the end of the world anyway, since I have to stay home and wait for Sears to come fix the oven at last!

While we were at Huntley Meadows Park last weekend, we saw a bit of a turtle spat.

This swimming turtle approached a fellow painted turtle...

...who was resting in the sun on a log.

As you can see, the log was plenty big enough for two.

"Can I come up?" "No!"

"Please?" "No!"

"How about if I get up here behind you..." "No!"

And finally the visitor gave up and swam away.

Hope that everyone in Texas is safely out of the way of Hurricane Ike. And that everyone who is having a hard day tomorrow has people around them to help them through it.

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