September 11 Digital Archive






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TomPaine Story: Story

Toward a More Perfect Union

September 8th, heard the news,
another bomb
Didn't notice,
arguing with Mom.
September 9th, drove to work,
traffic jam
Peddler at my car window,
don't give a damn.

September 10th, taught the kids,
lost my cool
Decided to rest ,
stay home from school
September 11th, didn't pay cable,
TV was cut off
Called in my payment
and there was no loss
It was a free day,
I had stayed home
Looked at the TV screen,
I was struck dumb

Oh my God!
I couldn't believe my eyes
The thing that was happening
in New York's sky.
Was this a movie,
could this be live?!
The WTC was falling
from some plane's dive!
I stared and I stared
and it wouldn't go away.
The WTC collapsed
this tragic day.

All those people,
What does it mean?
There must be some message
from which we can glean.
The next months were soulful,
with patriotic zeal
Flags flew while we grieved
And awaited the reveal

Of why 9/11 was entrenched
in our spirits
We moved and we worked and
we played most deliberate
In denial and anger
and whatever else
Would help us Americans
realize what we had
Somehow the Terrorists had
Made it oh, so bad

Outrage, outrage!
President Bush said
""Get them, the Taliban!
Don't show we're afraid.""
We tiptoed through life
for the next year
Trying so hard not
to show any fear.
We began to show patience
for other races
At least for awhile
we showed tolerant faces.
We waited in lines with calm
and patience
We donated some dimes
To the homeless and graceless
""I love you. I love you.""
was heard all through the States
How long were we careful
Not to hurt one another?
Don't know, didn't notice
Arguing with Mother.


“tp190.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed March 25, 2023,