Dean reflects on 9/11 through a poem

By Anne Dichele, dean of the School of Education September 08, 2021

Anne Dichele

School of Education Dean Anne Dichele shared her memories of September 11, 2001 through poetry.

Surgeons split open
my father’s cancerous throat
as the first plane split open
the tower.

by vending machines
offering no good options
for hunger or distraction,

a day of infamy begun
in the mundane boredom
of a hospital
waiting room.

The requisite television
bracketed overhead
broke the news,

our duties as sentry
to the sick and suffering
now suspended in disbelief
as buildings billowed

and all who could not be saved
free fell through the air,
black specks
raining down,

mistaking them at first
for ash or debris.

In the attached vinyl chairs
that line such rooms,
I sat alongside strangers,
the shared armrests
linking us now
in ways never imagined.

My father died that November,
as we all had by then.

And so my sons
know little of their once-grandfather,
or a world when kids played

until the streetlights
came on.

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