On the tenth anniversary
of planes used as killing missiles,
I walked ground zero on a sunny,
late summer morning.
Wired men in plainclothes with weapons dotted the streets
like fearful fungi. A navy gunboat in the east river. Memorial bagpipers practiced their military skirls in Battery Park.
This morning, on the fifteenth anniversary, the memorials, the relatives, the silences.
The pipers have returned. This time they are playing an old Stephen Foster song, Hard Times Come Again No More, calling on Whitman’s grass to finally begin its tuneful work.
“…’tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
hard times, hard times come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door,
Oh hard times, come again no more.”