Bloomington, Illinois, September 11, 2001


Crammed with churches
Unitarian to bug-eyed
Pentecostal plus parades
Fireworks and a couple
Of corn festivals a good
Percentage of the city
Is stoned on Benadryl
Any felt sense of the larger
World is mainly televisual

I end up sitting with shampoo
In my hair watching
Dots detach themselves
From the building
Which a tightening of the shot
Reveals to be people
In coats and ties and skirts
With their shoes falling
Off as they fall after which
Dan Rather’s mouth seems
To move for a second
Before any sound emerges

Thanks to the horror
There’s a weird accretive
Pressure to have a flag out
Everyone has flags out
An amputee gives
An inspirational speech
Some staff photographer
Pops a flash in the face
Of a traumatized
Kid in prayer

Nobody seems to notice
The president’s odd little
Lightless eyes, nor that his address
Sounds almost plagiarized
From Bruce Willis
In The Siege a couple years back

Source:“The View from Mrs. Thompson’s.” Consider the Lobster.

CHARLEY FOSTER lives and writes poems on the island of Kauai. His work has appeared in H_NGM_N and various other journals. Find him online at

1 Comment