Poem: "One World Trade"

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,

Glass spine.


                 —Mary Lyn Maiscott



One World Trade Center from the 9/11 memorial park; inside the Oculus.




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