Collage and Poetry by Kathy Cotton

Collage:  911 Trinity Root

Memorial to Peace   

The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace.      --MINORU YAMASAKI, Twin Towers Architect

I hear Yamasaki’s towering words,

four decades past, now sifting through

Manhattan’s cenotaphic forest:

Peace, he says. World peace.

Windborne from the lone Survivor Tree

and snagged in peeling bark of white oaks

newly planted by the hundreds:

World peace.

And clear I hear his words, waterfalling

into thunder, 30 feet below the street—

a nation’s acre-wide reflecting pools

in footprints where his Twin Towers fell:     

World peace.

I hear the wind and rain, the ghosted voices

carry off his lofty words to neighborhoods,

and scatter them like ash, like seed on street

and schoolyard, synagogue and mosque and chapel,

over names as mixed as thousands scribed

in bronze, end to end on parapets.  

World peace,

he whispered over dreams and blueprints,

words hammered into sky-high buildings,

slammed to cindered bones and twisted steel

but spoken still and heard in tiny conversations

by neighbors black and white and brown,

stranger to stranger, language to language,

small daily furrows of understanding

plowed into this world of rubble,

our little words of kindness, sowing     

peace, world peace.

 by Kathy Cotton, Published in NFSPS Encore Prize Poems, 2013

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