What words can be said, really,
in the face of wind and water so strong
it tears down buildings or submerges them?
At the same time, fires rage unquenched out west
despite all that water swirling many miles away.

I remember September 11, 2001.
Looking out my window to deep blue sky–
it couldn’t have been a more peaceful day.
Until minute to minute images of destruction and terror
filled our every breath, our hearts, our souls.
And we joined in the collective horror and sadness
as we do this day as well.

As I clean my house, I am silenced by the contrast
here in the midwest—
having a house to clean, the walls, solid and secure.
The view from each window, once again,
so serene in soft September light.

Some of us will head toward the trouble spots
others will send money and supplies as we are able.
Some of us will reach for explanations, conclusions,
others will give in to panic or go numb.
We do what we are able for
in the face of suffering.

Meanwhile, in my peaceful, fruitful yard
amid the ripe tomatoes and plump peppers,
a poppy blooms.

From some combination of steady rain, cooler weather,
and whatever mystery makes things grow,
this delicate spring flower has returned for a curtain call.
As if it doesn’t know all that’s happening in the world.
Or perhaps this very ground can sense something greatly amiss.

Regardless, this gentle flower has graced the yard once more
offering a silent respite,
a reminder that there are still delicate Wild things, even today,
that are powerful beyond reason—
the surprised catching of breath, the quiet moment,
the balm of beauty in an anxious world.

Chris Heeter Signature