Lynn D. Morrissey, poetry, tragedy, Writing

Part Two: The Poem {Guest Post: Lynn D. Morrissey}

world trade center cross photo: World Trade Center Cross WTCCROSS.jpg

O Say, Can You See America?

(Lynn D. Morrissey)

O say, can you see by the dawn’s early light
a true-blue-welkin-dream:
streaming sun,
gleaming chrome,
flashing steel—
the city’s stellar towers rise—
peopled to the stars,
to the far-flung skies.
O say, can you see by the dawn’s early night
men’s blackguard schemes,
Gehenna’s teeming store unleashed:
vile venom, jeering jihad genocide—
soaring jets collide,
a city’s shattered pride.
By the towers’ red glare,
the planes bursting in air
gave proof at the sight that evil was there.
O say, can you see by the dawn’s early blight
the rabble’s rebel blow—
hell’s incineration
of unsuspecting “infidels,”
            bodies vivisecting,
massive desecration.
Twin towers twining,
                                                 like sandcastles.
O say, can you see by the dawn’s early might
on Ground Zero’s shores, men’s fortitude—
multitudes of “heroes proved in liberating strife;
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!”
Black-helmeted men wielding axes,
shielding fleeing masses,
mounting countless flights,
rising like incense with the flames—
live sacrifice.
Black-robed men yielding crucifixes,
extreme unction—last rights.
O say, can you see by the dawn’s early light
through heaven’s beaming sun—
streaming tears,
and hear stained-glass prayers’ recitation:
“Vene sancte Spiritus”—
bells’ tintinnabulation,
vaulted voices’ singing: “Kyrie eleison,”
vaulted voices winging,
imploring God:
“O say, can You see America—
heaven’s veil torn asunder,
frail skyline’s gaping wound—
festering dust-debris, the plunder
of humankind?
Are You sequestered—blind?
O say, can You weep?
Can You agonize?
Can You hear death’s thunder—
mens’ anguished cries?”
O say, can you see, America,
by dawn’s early light,
the empty cave—a blood-stained tomb—
forsaken graveclothes
of the One Who came to save?
He lives!
Can you see His nail-fresh wounds,
torn veil of flesh
rent for man?
Can you glimpse Golgatha wrath,
God’s fury spent on Innocence—
payment due culpability—extreme sacrifice—
to gain man’s liberty?
God loves.
He saw hell’s battle, Calvary,
heard curdling crowds shriek,
and heard His Son’s death-rattled cry:
“My God! Why?
Why have You
O say, can you see by the dawn’s early light
through malice’s maelstrom
and blighted tower’s dross
in roiling remains,
two beams stand erect like a cross.
O say, can you see man’s gain?
Can you feel God’s loss?

(Copyright 2013. Lynn D. Morrissey. All Rights Reserved.)

Lynn D. Morrissey, is a Certified Journal Facilitator (CJF), founder of Heartsight Journaling, a ministry for reflective journal-writing, author of Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer and other books, contributor to numerous bestsellers, an AWSA and CLASS speaker, and professional soloist. She and her beloved husband, Michael, have been married since 1975 and have a college-age daughter, Sheridan. They live in St. Louis, Missouri.

You may contact Lynn at

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