Post 9/11: Barrett interviewed two witnesses who kept dreaming
          about people jumping from buildings, until finally their dreams equipped
          the jumpers with umbrellas or parachutes to float safely down to the ground.
          “The Global Dream Lab”    Brooke Jarvis

When my father died, I thought “Thank God;” it was the ending I’d been praying for; his mind in shreds; his body torn, his soul traveling through space to see the Great South Bay once more; to feel the sea foam trickling in because it works; each time I see the bay, I want to cry. It’s always grey, maybe grey-green. And we were close. We never talked. My ideal is a talk that once begun will never end, but we didn’t talk. Until he died.

Until the morning of 9/11; the desperate jumpers and their deaths, the black smoke punishing the sky, the crumbling towers, the Pompeii ash, and who does that? Who prays for anyone to die? And, of course, I had.

And then my mother’s death: Jesus. This one was bad. There are no words. I wasn’t sad. And I know she wants to say she did, but she didn’t love me. No, she did not. And then you go through life with that.

There is a photo on my desk: Two cedar waxwings on a branch, like Kookie Byrnes with slicked back hair, black eyes behind Lone Ranger masks, a sunlit green hydrangea leaf, the silver frame darkened with smoke, the souls that slipped out of my dreams, the ones that made it to the ground. I can’t explain, but now they’re safe. It takes the sting away from death.

                                – by Susan Demarest

Susan Demarest’s poems and CNF have appeared in Hawaii Review, Tar River Poetry, Antiques and Collectibles, Ibbettson Street, Medical Literary Messenger, Tell, Molecule:Tiny Lit, Hole in the Head Review, and Red Skies Anthology among other publications. She is an educator who lives on the North Shore of Boston.