This is my 9-11 poem…


It will never be as clear

as that black smoke

how much relief was born that day,

or in what form;

the beatings finally over,

the incurable sickness inoculated,

the dull shame of loving the wrong gender

forever buried

in the breakable steel.


You must believe that marriages

headed for ruin

were spared the public disgrace

and the private divisions;

the children blessed

to be left with nothing

to stand between them

and the happy lie of ignorance.


In addition to those who meant to kill,

there must have been a few

who survived safely on the other side of town

or in another state or country

who were inwardly pleased

to learn of a certain death;

a debt suddenly erased,

or a secret vaporized

in the painless explosion of cells.


I like to think that one of the named dead

survived, stumbled away;

the fathomable unfathomable event

having just provided an end

needed to begin again;

to step into the bright freedom

of anonymity,

where it might be possible to experience

the longed for joy of unabusive love

and maybe bring into the world

at least one child that otherwise,

if the skies of that blue day

had been left undisturbed,

would never have been born.



DeMaris Gaunt



Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

One thought on “Otherwise

  1. Wow! This one packs a punch. I started out pissed at your nihilism, shifted to sort of a nausea at your banality, but ended in a celebration of hope.


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