Because Her Heart Is Tender
by Michael R. Burch
for Beth, on the first anniversary of 9-11
She scrawled soft words in soap: “Never Forget”
dove-white on her car’s window (though the wren,
because its heart is tender, might regret
it called the sun to wake her). As I slept,
she heard lost names recounted, one by one.
She wrote in sidewalk chalk: “Never Forget”
and kept her heart’s own counsel. No rain swept
away those words, no tear leaves them undone.
Because her heart is tender with regret,
bruised by razed towers’ glass and steel and stone
that shatter on and on and on and on ...
she stitches in damp linen: “NEVER FORGET”
and listens to her heart’s emphatic song.
(The wren might tilt its head and sing along
because its heart once understood regret
when nestlings fell beyond, beyond, beyond ...
love's reach, and still the boot-heeled world strode on.)
She writes in adamant: “NEVER FORGET!”
because her heart is tender with regret.
Published by Neovictorian/Cochlea, The Villanelle, The Eclectic Muse, Nietzsche Twilight, Nutty Stories (South Africa), Poetry Renewal Magazine, and Other Voices International. Keywords/Tags: villanelle, 911, terror, terrorism, never, forget, heart, tender, regret, heroism, patriotism, courage, sacrifice