Leaving Afghanistan triggers many feelings for Americans.
|She'd never seen anything like it.
Old men, women, children appear stacked.
Climbing over each other, no room to fit
No possessions, reach out for human contact.
Now, I see a plane rising in blue skies.
People clinging then free falling to die.
How awful must life be to pay that price,
knowing fate might be a fatal sacrifice?
"Am I that brave? Bugs, heights frighten me.
Soldiers risked their lives for our right to be free."
Watery graves, mortal wounds, no 911 help.
So, I could make a good life for myself.
On our expensive electronic devices,
Watching helpless people suffer in crisis.
Stomach churning, our aching heads.
Change channels. See? Nothing to dread.
We have our problems, hard circumstances.
Covid, shootings, poverty, corporate mergers.
All oppressed people just want a chance,
possibility for freedom, have we such courage?
Sitting in comfort, safe and free,
Never imagining “that might be me”.
Under a flag of freedom, gifts we presume,
Democracy, voting rights, medicine, public schools.
We remember September 11th well.
Leaves fluttered, drift peacefully down,
Morning began with blue skies, soft wind.
Cruel holes were torn in America's peaceful ground.
Hope is a universal need.
It ties us together as human beings
We all hurt; bleed, love, hunger, thirst,
question, search for spiritual meaning.
In the end, we are nothing.
The flesh is gone, the bones decay.
The essence of who we are,
lives on in memories of those we touch today.
By Kathie Stehr