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Saturday, September 11, 2010


by George Held

Yes, I remember the day—
The group of Japanese peering down 6th Ave
At a sight no tourist ever traveled to see,
The sirens of ambulance and fire truck,
The column of smoke wafting toward Brooklyn
And that evening the yellow mist,
The smell of burnt furniture,
And, some said, flesh and bone.

I remember the photos of the lean terrorists,
Especially Mohamed Atta, the bitter Egyptian,
Who prepared for terror in the West
But refused, monk-like, to be seduced
By its blondes and pizza and fancy cars—
All the values we hold dear—
While his Islamic fervor kept his eye on the prize:
Just learn how to drive that big jet into eternity.

And I’ll never forget that Florida pastor
Who thought burning the Koran would fry
Evil Islamic fish, who failed to see that his Christ
Would turn the other cheek and love his Muslim
Neighbors, that the Constitution protects
All faiths equally, that he is as devoted
To hatred and intolerance as Atta and his buds,
That one holocaust can’t justify another.

George Held has collected many of his New Verse News poems in The News Today.