How Everything Didn’t Change

Photo: Steve Crave, FermilLab

Terry called me just after the second tower fell. My first words to her were “We’re going to war.” And of course we did, several times over. The catchphrase was “Everything changed after 9/11.” But it all looked like business as usual to me. Just missing a little of the candy coating. Here’s a poem I wrote shortly after waking in the night to hear the endless line of transports carrying 10th Mountain troops to Afghanistan in October 2001.

How Everything Didn’t Change

Just after the shotgun blast the maple shakes off
its cloak of blackbirds. They shriek, dive and rise.

Three times round the field they flap,
wheeling this way and that, and all together.

But it doesn’t last—the flock returns and settles,
in order, each to the same accustomed perch.

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