Eleven years from 9/11

I wrote this villanelle a few weeks after 9-11. At the time we lived around Ramstein AFB. Around 4 a.m. every morning jets from the base would leave to attack Afghanistan. As they left the base, the jets would shake the houses in our village near the base. I will never forget the fear.

Thundering at Daybreak


As cold sweat pours from my body, I wake
to dark hounds baying at fleeing gray hares:
to sounds of war thundering at daybreak.

Oh, Holy Fool, quaking for Allah, break
the fox’s chains, the fox who cowers in lairs;
as cold sweat pours from my body, I wake

knowing the hound, the fox, the hares will take
us from peace of hearth and home, from our cares
to sounds of war thundering at daybreak.

Beware of false prophets, who shiver and shake,
serpents who delight in killing human hares.
As cold sweat pours from my body, I wake

to falling towers-a large death. They slake
their blood-thirst with innocent lives. Who dares-
to sounds of war thundering at daybreak-

who dares to strike again? My heart aches.
Is this the end of choice? Must we forbear?
As cold sweat pours from my body, I wake
to sounds of war thundering at daybreak.

Another poem about 9/11