Jamele Adams - Tour of Duty

The following poem was written by Jamele Adams, dean of diversity at Brandeis University. Adams was teaching at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, on the morning of 9/11. When the planes hit the twin towers, Adams and his class watched the horror unfold through the panoramic window of their classroom. This poem, written just an hour-and-a-half before being read on September 11, 2006, marks the first time Adams has written about what he saw that day.

Tour of Duty
Millions of ways for the human sky to cry
We commit to memory
Memories of surviving souls of manifest destiny.
Broken hearts receiving plastic surgery
Memorials masterminded for monetary subsidiaries.
Skylines broken for eternity
Twin towers absent
Like bodies from trees lynched during slavery.
There are 93 united reasons that can testify
1,825 days later and no liquid carry-ons
Gone are the days of the "friendly skies"

Feeling more like "friendly fire"
9 millimeters and Mac 11's
9 centimeters and 11 bodies leaven
9 doves awaiting 11 Angels in heaven
Call 911 for help
And few spoke of the she-roes who responded on September 11
Thus we cinematize the lives memorialized
And lock them in a Nicholas Cage of the World Trade

How long does it take to say we miss you?
How many captured terrorists does it take to confuse you?
Who are we to hold God accountable?
At best we are compound fractions.
Halves of a whole human spirit.
Listen to your vision
Bald Eagles needing to learn love
We need Generals who move armies like March of the Penguins

Too much Tsun Zu & not enough Dali Lama
The vengeance of war is the respect of hate
We digest weapons with no love on our plates
Central Intelligence describes what we ate
Suffering from upset stomachs
Mortal Combat we regurgitate
The absence of love leaves room for improvement.
There are 2,792 breezes of angel's breath
Stronger than volcanic ash landing on your neck
Doves with human hands for wings flying stealth
Gripping warheads and giving them to cupid for wealth
The square root of war is love enraged
Love without resentment


(Reversing Vandalism tells us)
There are 24 definitions for love
And 2 for hate
We best commemorate lives lost on 9-1-1
By speaking in tongues native to the sun
Pouring out ghetto glitter into the cornmeal of Masons
Hate not
-to love
Love until you hate not loving.
Love beyond forgiving Osama
Love beyond FEMA & hurricane Katrina
Love beyond any Tsunami
Love beyond the Presidency
Love beyond New York City
Love unconditionally
Love beyond war
Love through your anger
Love each tear you drop,
-catch them in a cup and serve it to your enemies and make up.
"Be the change you want to see"-Ghandi
Nothing will ever be the same;
Nothing has love lived like this in history.
Be a united humanity before a united country

Jamy publishing © 2006. Harlym125@hotmail.com