We will never forget...
The last day dawns on my life
And I don't know it
As I wake up to golden rays
Of sun knocking on my eyelids.
I kissed my wife good morning,
Got up out of bed
And tucked her in again.
Naomi spent 10 hours last night
Delivering a new mother's firstborn.
I didn't tell her good morning
And I wish I told her I loved her
But I didn't want to wake her.
I sipped my coffee on the way to work
As if it were any other day,
My only worry was if I had spilled any
On the new pink and white
Polka-dot tie my daughter Elise
Had bought me for my birthday
Or the new Bostonian shoes
My wife gave me
With the card that read,
We love you from top to bottom!
I walked into the conference room
And checked my watch:
I was 9 minutes early
To the most exciting moment
Of my career:
My first pitch as project manager
For the new country club going up
East of the city in Glenwood Landing.
I was 10 minutes early
To the most helpless moment
Of my life.
At 8:45 I said good morning
To many fine ladies and gentlemen...
Bankers, lawyers, city representatives,
A union boss, some secretaries,
And a stenographer in the back.
The same words I would never again say to my wife and child...
And immediately I was thrown
Through the air
And knocked against the righthand wall
Of the room.
I was utterly confused
And my face burned
From the coffee I had been holding
That now stained
My beautiful polka-dot tie.
It would be nothing compared to the heat I would soon face.
Outside our 111th-story window
Rose an obsidian plume of smoke.
We all knew something terrible
Had happened just a few floors below.
The fine ladies and gentlemen
Of a moment ago
Quickly turned into uncivilized beasts
As the lights went out
And the piercing scream of the fire alarm
Shouted louder than the new mother
Experiencing the pain
Of her first childbirth.
Smoke very quickly came from below
And filled the floor with the foulest odor
I had ever smelled:
Burning rubber, sulfur,
And burnt hair.
Others in the room sealed the door shut
With expensive overcoats and undershirts
From Armani and Burberry.
They tried the phone countless times
But the line was dead.
I looked down at my watch
As a bead of sweat fell from my brow
And landed on my new tie:
The fire alarm got tired of yelling
And the room was filled with an
Uncomfortable rumbling sound...
...and the hysterical wails of the
Fine ladies and gentlemen in the room.
Some prayed, some wept together,
Others wept alone.
The one thing we all had in common
Was the persistent coughing
From the obsidian smoke
Slicing our lungs.
I looked down at my watch:
The heat was now almost unbearable.
We huddled around the window
Jack or John or Jim smashed
With the powerful throw
Of a mini-refigerator.
When I gazed out the window
At the same sun that kissed my eyelids
I was calm.
I thought of Naomi, who was
Surely watching on television
As her family called her to make sure
Her and I and Elise were alright.
Daddy's alright, baby girl.
I'm alright, Naoms.
Gary or Greg was the first to jump.
I'll make it home to you, angels.
Sophia or Cynthia was next.
Please, God, get me out of here...
Jack or John or Jim
And Patty or Peggy
Were each other's last hug
As they fell
Like two stars from heaven.
I couldn't see
And I couldn't breathe.
The sunlight was the last thing to kiss me.
Before I jumped
I felt my girls.
I touched the tie on my neck
And the shoes on my feet.
I love you both
From top to bottom.
We will never forget...