Unwelcome Anniversaries Part 1

You weren’t supposed to be there.

I remember they called us
out of school. The teachers
whispered in hushed tones
all around us.
My husband is in the tower.
My daughter is on the plane.
The tears flushed their faces,
and I didn’t understand.
at the tender age of eight,
grown-up problems seemed
out of my league.

When I walked home
(counting my steps
in my head)
the sirens echoed off the
towers looming

The apartment door slammed shut.
White noise filled my ears.
The answering machine blinked
a red six.
I clicked play,
propping my elbows
on the table,

The first five messages
were you, calmly
telling me that the
police had it all under
that you would be home soon.
With each passing message,
you became desperate.
I could hear it in your
shaking voice.

The sixth message played.
You sounded frantic
on the other end as you
my name
seven times.

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