So today I pay my own little tribute to the innocent victims of that day. I didn't know any of them. But I feel connected to them all. Maybe you know this poem, maybe not, but it deserves (or maybe commands) your attention today. Its sweeping language and vivid imagery--it's a work of art and I hesitate to call it beautiful because I don't know if that's the world. But I will call it perfect, because I think it is.
Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100 by Martín Espada for the 43 members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, working at the Windows on the World restaurant, who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center
Please take the time to read the rest of the poem here. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it.
Alabanza. Praise the cook with the shaven head and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye, a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo, the harbor of pirates centuries ago. Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea. Alabanza. Praise the cook's yellow Pirates cap worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua, for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes. Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza. Praise Manhattan from a hundred and seven flights up, like Atlantis glimpsed through the windows of an ancient aquarium. Praise the great windows where immigrants from the kitchen could squint and almost see their world, hear the chant of nations: Ecuador, México, Republica Dominicana, Haiti, Yemen, Ghana, Bangladesh. Alabanza.