I pulled the covers over a part
of my life I knew was ending.
The next morning would be the first
on the path to my autumn,
when everything about life would change.
I awoke to a morning sky
of such infinite azure beauty,
so clean of cloud and worry
that I made a memory of it,
something I could carry
in my gray remaining years.
Mercilessly, my memory sky
was smeared by flame and smoke,
by dust and tears.
And soon I realized the selfish dread
I hid behind sleepy eyes the night
of that September 10, would
haunt me for all my days.
Always, I’ll feel a sting in my eyes
when I think of that
last blue sky of summer.
On this anniversary of the horrors of September 11, 2001, my poem addresses a loss so much less important in the grand scheme of things. I lost a bit of joy that comes every year on my birthday. And I lost the glory that was that last brilliant sky of my life’s summer. (Photo by Lyle Owerko, New York Magazine.)