Before (September 10)

Mayor

Madeline Rogero
mayor@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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On September 11, 2019, Marilyn Kallet posted her short poem from September 11, 2001

By Marilyn Kallet



Before (September 10)

The night before the end of innocence
the lights of Houston Street glimmered.

The firemen had not yet mingled with the ashes.
Now there’s Before and After,

stairwells, smoke,
relatives clutching photos,

buckets, hand over hand,
the smell of flesh.

Those on the highest floors had not yet
streamed into their ending,

unfinished, falling like love letters
they had barely begun.

The night before the air was shattered,
the watchmen had not begun to speak of war,

or revenge.


From the book The Love That Moves Me, Black Widow Press, 2013