September Eleventh in Newfoundland
This story of kindness, almost buried
Beneath the ash and the smoking rubble
Born of hate, suspicion, and fear, carried
Light, a defiant fist of grace doubled
Against the blinding darkness of the day.
Today is just one decade and a half
Since seven thousand airline refugees
Landed in Gander, and she wears her myth
Of gracious hospitality with ease,
With far more ease than I can make it real
As I spin the yarn to a child too small
To have lived through that day, too young to feel
The horror of watching the towers fall.
The darkness she believes. She, too, knows grief.
But mass kindness? She says, “now that beats all.
Such hospitality defies belief.”
“Think of an anti-matter barroom brawl,”
I say, “a fit of contagious kindness
where instead of mirrors shattering, walls
of fear and hate tumble down around us.”
She grinned slyly before we parted, said,
“Then who would mind hearing, ‘You started it.’”