As a freelance copy editor, I often work at the World Trade Center. Sometimes it feels like just an office, but a quick look out the window, if you happen to be facing the memorial park, can bring back not only the terrible loss but also the fears associated with 9/11. But in addion, the glass buildings surrounding 1WTC literally reflect such sights as the beautiful marina and the new Oculus transportation hub. I recently wrote this poem, inspired by both working in this unique building and my experience of 9/11. (Photos of the WTC and the Oculus appear below the poem.)
One World Trade
He speaks. He’s wearing a tie.
Waves rush a small boat across a glass skyscraper.
Someone answers him. Small talk.
The boat hits the edge and vanishes, part by part.
There’s a room full of orange sneakers,
Or was that a dream?
In the desk an emergency kit—
Whistle, mask, flashlight.
At sunset the Empire State Building will burst into flame.
I see a helicopter but can’t hear it.
Clouds are picking up.
There are cupcakes in the kitchen,
And down below dinosaur bones,
Bird wings, a white flapping skeleton
Sprouting from the ground.
Across the way it blooms anew:
Ghost of itself,
—Mary Lyn Maiscott
One World Trade Center from the 9/11 memorial park; inside the Oculus.