After


 Joanna Catherine Scott


Last night, after the towers fell, I lay down

on my bed and waited out the long dark

falling hours, the silent, falling shapes of death.

 

I slept, and in my dreams I heard a rattling cry

as if a horde of souls, escaped an earthly hell,

clamored for re-entrance to the light.

 

And then I saw them, filling up the sky

horizon to horizon. Necks thrust out, voices

thrust before, they came and came from everywhere,

 

drawing my eye toward the far ends of the earth,

like a mind in search of full extension of a thought,

and climbing, swirled into a dark tumultuous

 

tunnel in the sky, the beating of their wings

a hard, determined, drumming noise, voices trumpets

summoning the laggard sleepers of the pit to rise.

 

So great their upward rush, the beating of their voice,

that stars plunged out of heaven, vanished in the sea,

till they at last burst through the swirling tunnel's

 

topmost gate, and rose and rose, and as they went,

dark necks stretched up into the light, dark sinewed

bodies became white and glowed like swans at dawn

 

and vanished up—yet still they came, and still.

And then I dreamed myself awake, and leaping

from my bed, flung up the blind, the window too,

 

saw them coming out of everywhere, just everywhere,

saw my soul leap out to them, and rise,

felt great rippling wings unfold.