There was an America here, United and strong, curious about its neighbours and hopeful for its future. This was before fear and loathing, before anger and bitterness and conspiracy and chasing ghost and faceless enemies…

There was an America that was before the towers fell, it feels like a lifetime ago, and it feels like it is gone…

I was 11 years old…but even I saw the young man that was our president as he realized in real time …whatever his ideals had been for the future, they were changing…

There is a world before and a world after…and they are two very different things…

There was a loss here, that continued on…with the heroes fighting for their lives and their faces aged before their time…

We have a new moment in America….
In Alabama alone, we have lost over 12k in a pandemic that is ongoing…

It doesn’t feel so far away anymore…
It seems as though every day we lose something or someone once familiar, once close to our hearts…
And we have to find our footing so we can continue…

We have those brave heroes working and fighting everyday…

And like the heroes from 20 years ago…
These are putting their lives on the line…
they have faces, they have names, they have families…
And they will be changed…
And there will be a generation
Who grows up
From time
And there will be a generation after this …
Asking for the stories ….

There was an America here,
An Alabama,
And it feels like it has gone …
But we continue on…
It is here
Through us…

We maintain our place …
With dignity and humbleness
And courage for discipline and greatness
And refusing to give in to fear…
We continue
And we will tell the stories
And we will keep the courage
To build. To remember. To continue.
For all of us …
For all of our heroes…
We are one.

Into oblivion

Some teenagers asked
Me what you were like today…
they are too young
They don’t remember a world
Before this
It shocked me
And then I realized how many years have passed …
And so here I am
An adult now
Finally ready
I can tell my story

You were the day
Became more than
Just a birthday
I looked at the sky
With fear
The world as I knew it….
the day
A city called New York
Felt like it was
In my back yard
And I memorized it’s skyline
It’s buildings
It’s streets

the month,no.
The year
I had nightmares
Of paper towns
And iron cities
With white washed faces….
You were the year
I memorized the quote
On the Statue of Liberty
“Conspiracy theories”
Had faces and definitions
I will never see
“the potato chip”
The same

you became
The second date I
Mark on the calendar
Next to my birthday
And every Year
I grow heavy
I sleep less
I see shadows of people
And hear veterans crying

It’s difficult
For me
To remember
Anything else
All I know
Is what you gave us

I remember When – everything
All the paths
The past and
The present
The shadow of planes
With the echo
Of collapsing …

With faces hollowed out
Wearing our city
We rose
Forever changed
I remember


These are your days

Write about what you know
That’s what they say
But there really isn’t much that I know
Or much to say

I was homeschooled
I can plumb a house
Build a barn
Irrigation and anything else outside
I can put together a pretty mean 3 point sermon and sell it .
But what once was sincere
Doesn’t mean anything to me .
That’s what I learned ….
People change
We change
That’s all I really know

We grew up
We were young
When we saw the towers fall
9/11 changed everything
Suddenly this evil numbing shadow fell across our lives
It affected our dreams
Our plans …everything changed
Our childhood shifted
And we stopped coloring
We started thinking like adults
And then the storms came
Mother Nature took back what was hers before we built cities
I learned that things don’t matter
What we define ourselves by
Can be gone tomorrow
All we have is our experiences
Our memories
And how we live and treat people

We grew a little older
And they told us to believe in our country, to do as we’re told, that there’s a certain acceptable way and pattern to do things .
We shook our heads
We choose to think for ourselves
We write our dreams on walls
We leave it on scraps of paper

At one point we fell for someone
I still see her skin
Our clothes in the floor
she changed so fast
Slamming cabinets
And then she was fine
Only to return again
Her words cut like a knife
And then she left
And I didn’t do a thing
I faded out
I blamed myself
We were just kids
Attempting to be adults
We gave ourselves scars
That never really healed
And now I still react because of it
Much afraid

We act like its a big deal
Like these things define us
But they don’t
Take it all away
What do you have ?
An angry man saying
” they don’t pay you for waiting around ”
An angry woman because he’s gone
A world changing faster than we can see

We are defined by questionable wars
Identity crisis
And vanity
We hunger for nothing
We are taken by everything
Blindsided by knowledge
We are still young
And we’ve been shot through

So here I am all these years later
Older but young
I can’t sleep
I see things
My mind races
But when I talk with her
When I’m with her
I feel close
I feel calm
And I actually rest
I press my eyes closed
And I hope
I hope I bring some kind of rest
For her

Write what you know
What do you know ?

” these are the days that must happen to you .”
– Walt Whitman