Lest We Forget

by Don Mathis
Texas, USA

Lest We Forget

You pass through the portal
And squint against the sun,
The time, forever: 9:01

A twin portal stands
On the other side
Forever reading: 9:03

In between is the minute
That never should have been
In 1995, April 19

A pool for reflection,
Inches shallow.
Infinitely deep
In its sorrow.

Walkways to nowhere,
No destination,
Lead anyone, quickly,
To quiet contemplation.

The power of the empty chair:
Think of those who are not there.

At dinner table, office —
Those we miss.
Imagine, 168 empty
chairs such as this.

Glass shards and stone
Once showered a tree.
It gives hope to see those leaves.
It’s still alive, still survives,
A symbol of the people’s will.

A chain link fence
Is not a barrier
It’s a carrier
A link to the memory of many.
Leave a possession,
Release an emotion.

A fireman’s helmet is hung
Faded and bleached in the sun.
Emblazoned “We will never forget you”
And signed by a rescue team.

A teddy bear
has a tear
For the children
that were here.

On the fence
Flowers are tied.
Dozens have died
Millions have cried.

Across the street,
Granite blocks
Of white and black,
Symbolize the children
Lost that day.
A man’s statue stands near
“Jesus Wept.”

Chips and stones
From the destruction
Now line the paths
Their journey done.

The feet of grief
May stop their step.
But the Murrah Memorial
Will still be here

Lest We Forget.


Originally published as HeroicStories #547 on Sep 10, 2004

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