( written in 2002, a year after 9/11)wndy

Your name was called,

underscored by a brass bell.


At home, our son

still draws firemen

with Crayola’s brick red

and steel gray.


He’s too young

to comprehend death

but knows there is a kitchen chair

without a man’s body


and a storybook

that lays collapsed

on the high shelf in his room.


I didn’t want to straighten it.

The Velveteen Rabbit

fell down the night

you left to salvage bodies

from the smoldering towers.


Each day, a boy draws —

his scribbling

a primitive blaze

you somehow enter.


Each night, a wife

heats a kettle of water.


The metal shines,

strikes color

before my eyes

like a clash of cymbals;


and I can’t feel

the smooth tone

of your voice or skin.


You spoke

in the tongue of angels

and gave your body to be burned

with love,


but now its all cut out

by this blaring silence.


I am left to shake

tea leaves in a cup,

a bone-china urn

filled with your ashes.


Note — Though the speaker in this poem is fictitious ,it was written to honor the wives of fighter fighters and other heroic people who lost their lives in the terrible event of  9/11. I was inspired to write this after viewing a ceremony for the deceased heroes a year later in New York City. A brass bell chimed for each of the names of those  who had given their lives in bravery and saving the lives of their fellow citizens.


6 replies on “Widowed”

This is a fine tribute, and the “narrator first-person” is understood as fictional-but-real. Every writer understands putting oneself in a viewpoint and writing from it. Here it is done very effectively, and we feel the emotions of the narrator.


Thanks so much Michael

For your very insightful viewpoint, I deeply appreciate it and am glad to hear the character and the voice sound authentic and draw empathy from the reader.!

Again, thanks!
my best,



“You spoke

in the tongue of angels

and gave your body to be burned

with love,”

Every line of this poem conveys the loss, the love, and the scar tissue that
makes this country stronger.

Bravo to you!



Hi Sarah,

Your kind words and empathy are so much appreciated! This poem was written in 2002 and it is one that is really significant to me because of its content and the inspiration. Thank you so much for reading this and sharing your feelings. That means alot!!

Take care,

Liked by 1 person

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