Around 3,000 people died that day and, overnight, America’s attitude to terrorism was transformed. US financial and emotional support for the IRA was immediately and drastically reduced, leading to a downturn in violence in Ulster and the British mainland.
Sadly, the new era of global terrorism, ushered in by the events of that grim September day, is one that continues to affect us all.
Wind Time back.
Reel Time in
so that the struck towers
rise from dust, reassemble themselves:
all their glass, their concrete,
a huge jigsaw,
locked together, complete again.
Thousands of keyboards blink to life,
telephones ring, lights come back on, vending machines cough,
eject fresh coffee into plastic cups, air-conditioning sighs
elevators descend, ascend, video conferencing re-commences,
work-stations reconstruct themselves,
conversations resume mid-sentence, emails beep,
digital clocks flicker like quick, green lizards ...
as though it had never ended.
All the scattered particles
of mothers, fathers, daughters, sons,
fly back together:
fingers, lips, eyes, soft faces, scorched cinder-black
or blown to bloody shreds: these are re-made.
Lost shoes, lost handbags, mobiles, neck-ties,
day-dreams, expectations, plans, engagements:
all these un-melt, re-form,
resume their shapes.
The terrible, unearthly screams
Wind Time back. Reel Time in.
the soft clouds drift.
Birds fly in reverse.
Those grim death-planes,
stiletto-silver in the morning sun,
like daggers from the shattered towers,
pristine again, shimmer
like smooth, un-rippled water.