Williamsburg, Virginia – In Bush Gardens, there is a roller coaster named Apollo’s Chariot about which this poem is written. This poem is also written in memory of those who were forced to jump on 9/11/2001.
I watched as America woke again
From another light-bulb moment, then shifted
To thinking about myself
On top of Apollo, facing down,
About to fall in an unnatural angle.
Had there been concrete instead of the swamp below me,
I would have hurled my breath inward,
Deep. I would have assumed my demise.
I walked through the same linen-covered door that day,
Skies as blue as heaven-sent. Although it seemed that all I did
Was watch an awful tragedy of dots:
Before them, their unlimited futures;
Hell. On TV,
Debris: hundreds of feet
Of sheets of metal, twisting;
And their minds opened wide
As they fell down the line of the sky.
I stared in suspended judgment
At the indifference between the dots and the debris.
Staring straight ahead, then
Then, passed out before I hit the ground.
I woke from my blackout,
The swamp behind me now,
Absorbing sparks from my chariot’s underside.
No fire. No falling man, horror-bound.
No body parts in every grate.
No billowing grays of lifeless hate.
I was still in clear, blue sky.
But them? Those dots?
They were alive.