Prepared to set the world ablaze,
You were a glowing ember,
So full of vibrant life until
The eleventh of September.
I heard the phone at nine a.m.
And prayed it wasn’t you.
I heard your voice; my heart caved in;
Before you spoke, I knew.
Your breaths were coming short and fast;
I told you to inhale.
We sat in silence with each other;
I prayed you would prevail.
“Look out the window,” I proposed,
“And see the clear blue sky.”
“I’m looking out,” you whispered back.
“I’m there with you,” breathed I.
I wrapped my arms around you tight,
Though I was far away;
I longed to see your clear brown eyes
And all your fears allay.
My mask began to fall apart;
My soul began to chafe.
Though I cherished, loved and kept you,
I could not keep you safe.
You uttered then the dreaded word;
You said to me, “Goodbye.”
You joined the others and I heard
Your final battle cry.
In a haven free of noises,
A belfry stands in view;
Forty chimes for forty voices,
And one of them is you.
Author’s Note: This poem was written in memory of Honor “Elizabeth” Wainio, a victim on board United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. The conversation portrayed is based on the actual last conversation Elizabeth had with her stepmother before the passengers of Flight 93 fought to take back the plane from the hijackers. In 2018, a windchime tower with one chime for every passenger and crew member was erected in the field where the plane went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A plane full of heroes was lost that day. We have not forgotten.