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Numbers

BOSTON (CBS) –  A Poem by Jordan Rich:

19, 38, 50, 27, 40, 33…

Names spoken.   A lone bell peels by a fountain.  Silence.

65, 28, 31, 31, 39, 43, 56…

In a soothing breeze, the flag unfurled in gentle salute.

61, 76, 39, 38, 47, 23, 26, 41…

A queue of children, spouses, parents, strangers— Americans patiently waiting with paper and pencils.  Tracing names.  Memory etched.

16, 79, 44, 51, 55, 35, 30, 21…

So much hurt.  Yet, reverence.  Preserving dignity, honor.  Never to forget.

28, 27, 61, 42, 45, 48, 55, 23, 25, 28…

In bed, TV on.   Weeping for those I had never met.  Feels like family though.  A pattern—ten names read, voices cracking, music to soothe, silence.

44, 54, 24, 26, 58, 70, 63, 41, 49…

Numbers.  Not random.  Crawling across the screen—ages of those taken.  21, 36, 28, 42. Young and not so young.  78, 60, 19, 37, 49.   None deserved to go; none here today in sadness deserving such pain.

1

For a brief stunning moment on this 10th anniversary, what we are.  A resolute number.  Through the tears, hope.

More from Jordan Rich
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