Day 23: For today’s prompt, write a historic poem. It could be a poem about a landmark event, specific battle, an era in time, or whatever you consider a historic happening.



On September twelfth, or maybe it was the thirteenth,

My son, who had turned five in May, drew his first two pictures

One was of the towers on fire, people jumping and running

The other was of his toddler sister, fresh forehead gash spouting blood

She had fallen just days before the towers, pushing backwards on a chair

Landing on the corner molding, the blood spreading impossibly fast

It was then I realized that he didn’t know how to dial 911

And that he needed reassurance as much as I needed the operator

To tell me how to use compression with a dishtowel to stop the flow

Something I’d been trained to do and yet couldn’t remember in the moment

She’d screamed through the stitches, lending him a lifelong distrust of hospitals

The memories of her fall repeated for us as much as the loops on CNN

The blood and the falling all mingling into one experience of disaster

And the first realization that as much as he’d always been able to count on me

I simply couldn’t put things back the way they were this time

And we would all have to learn to live with the scars


~ Liesl Dineen 2015


  1. Angela Zemp

    I remember this time well, Leisl. I had an eight-month old, and can remember watching CNN on a loop for about 3 days, clutching onto my baby, and crying. I have never again felt the same sense of security as I did before 911.

    A strong and evocative poem.

    Hedgehog Hugs xx

    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      Thank you. Everything really did change.


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