September 11 in Newfoundland

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.’”