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Fri Sep 11, 2015, 09:17 AM

"Short Shift At Ground Zero" - Kim & Reggie Harris

Tuesday September 25th, 2001
We rode the subway back uptown
Our shoes are covered with ash and dirt
They won't let you take anything from Ground Zero
Crime scene
Ministers can't even take ashes back to families
Hoping for the missing, grieving the dead

Oh God up in heaven
Blessed be your name

And blessed be the memory of each precious one
Lost to the horror of hatred
On our tiny planet

May your Way come soon
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven

"Hey Joe!"
"Shhhh...people sleep in here!"
(softer) "Yea. I'm looking for one of my men."
"Said he'd be sleeping up by the organ."
"Go right up there,
Near the fan, by the light."

St. Paul's Church
Praying and sleeping in pews
Women and men, recovery workers
We give blankets, coffee, food
And presence

Give us this day,
Our daily bread.

Famous chef makes the food
Fifty yards from Ground Zero
A shell that rolls like the Coliseum
Small fires still burn
Big machines move
Bright lights glare
My hard hat is blue

What are the flashes of orange
Here and there in the rubble?
I wonder if the fire fighters wore orange coats?

Forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us

So hated, our America
So loved, our digging heroes
Letters and cards on the wall
School kids' poems, paper hugs
No time to ask, "WHY?"

"Would you like some desert with your dinner?"
"Isn't this just like a restaurant?"
"To send me here to clean up
Right under your feet"

For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours

Here's my badge and my photo ID
Army with guns in the streets
Someone on the radio said,
"ACLU, take a back seat."

I cry when I look at my shoes
Can't bring myself to wash them off

And forever,


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