"When He Woke Today" (in memoriam for the firefighters lost and missing, WTC collapse, 9/11) by Jennifer Lobban, aterna@hotmail.com

When he woke today and dressed
In his work clothes neatly pressed
And kissed his wife and kids goodbye
He did not know today he'd die.

He passed twin towers gleaming bright
Alive and awash in morning light
He stopped for coffee, greeted pals,
Flirted with some college gals.

He got to work at Firehouse Ten
And rough-housed with the other men
At work there in his chosen field
When suddenly the fire bell pealed.

For those twin towers gleaming bright
Alive and awash in morning light
Were now aflame, their insides bared
Filled with people, calm yet scared.

While others ran away in fear
He faced it down when it loomed near
And battled back an anguished sob;
He was here to do his job.

He was a man who met the mark
A force for light amid the dark
Who watched the game and cheered the play
And loved a beer on a summer's day.

He tried to save each desperate soul
But ash and debris took their toll
Tried to force him to retreat;
His heart refused, with steadfast feet.

Now in the darkness, embers glow
Within the rubble deep below
Where once two towers stood up tall
Before the terror, before the fall.

His Brothers still work side by side
In memory of he who died
Dust will shift and dust will rise
Where still a hero's body lies.

For when he woke today and dressed
In his work clothes neatly pressed
And kissed his wife and kids goodbye
He did not know today he'd die.

(Copyright J.L. Lobban, 2001)