Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Survivor Tree Speaks

For National Poetry Month, at A Year of Readingmy colleague, Mary Lee Hahn is offering          =====>

Today's Po-emotion word is sadness. When I read the word of the day, my thoughts immediately returned to one of the most devastating images of this century, the 9/11 Disaster at the World Trade Center in New York City. I knew that I needed to write about the sadness felt on that tragic event. Being in close proximity to the horror of the day has never left the hearts of residents of Rockville Centre, my town. 48 townspeople perished during the terrorist attacks that shook our world. You can read my thoughts here.

At the 9/11 Memorial now stands a pear tree called the "Survivor Tree." It speaks of the pain and the suffering witnessed on September 11, 2001, but it also speaks of resiliency of a people, a city, and a nation.

The Survivor Tree Speaks


I once stood tall, a callery pear tree,
until a storm of crimson clouds surrounded me.
The skyscraper tower crushed me to the ground.
Left burnt, deformed, traumatized, I was found.

As the last living "thing" to leave the site,
I remembered 9/11 sadness, and the fright.
Wreckage, limbs, smoke, and blazing flames
were left to cover World Trade Center's remains. 

Out from the scattered debris and broken dreams,
my gnarled stumps grew back into solid beams.
Participant and witness of many a human's tear,
With flowering April buds, I stand tall each year.

Carol Varsalona © 2015. All Rights Reserved


Although my family has been to Ground Zero many times since 2001, we have never heard the story of the Survivor Tree until this Easter when my sister from Syracuse heard her pastor speak of this 9/11 living remnant during the homily. It is our wish to visit the site this week to see the final stage of the reconstruction process and be amazed by the Survivor Tree.

You may be interested in listening to this song, Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning, by Alan Jackson. 

Please visit Mary Lee Hahn's Po-Emotion -- Sadness and #digipoetry, created by Margaret Simon. 


Thanks for joining my Poetry Parade.

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