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  • Return To Ground Zero, 2012
  • Christopher Southgate (bio)

No entry to the new memorial.On-line booking is down                    because of the hurricane.I lose my chance to lose my eyesin a square pool inside a square poolin water falling out of falling.

Instead I sit in a small church;a choir grapples with Bach                      in a placewhere firemen slept on pewsand on boards and railings there gatheredline on line of pleas for the missinglines about the missing.

The conductor tells the choir                    they are all over the place.Which is what here is, eleven years on.It will not settle into history, this jumbleof mementoes, teddy bears,badges from fire departments across the world -outstretched longing, letters left about longing.

Eleven years ago I looked down at Ground Zero                         still burning.Relatives were being led in to breathethe ruined, lachrymal air.I am not able to drown that memory                    in neat square pools;on-line booking is down, because of the hurricane.There is only this jumbled hoping, this endlessly battered hoping about loving. [End Page 271]

Christopher Southgate

Christopher Southgate teaches in the area of science and religion at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and is also involved in the training of Anglican and Methodist ordinands. He is the author of a verse biography of T. S. Eliot, A Love and its Sounding (Salzburg, 1997) and three collections of poems, all published by Shoestring Press: Beyond the Bitter Wind, Easing the Gravity Field: Poems of Science and Love, and most recently A Gash in the Darkness.



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