RIBBONS: September 12, 2001
Kids in the Dunsmuir High School cafeteria
spend lunch hour, home room time
with scissors, tiny gold pins and yards
of narrow orange satin ribbon.
When the simple loops
pile up like tangerines
in a tropical marketplace
they take handfuls, stuff pockets,
fill a pretty basket, head into town.
Before the sun sinks behind cedars
and hemlocks bow their drooping heads
and the September horror ends
its second day, every person
in the small mountain town—
just-born infant to war-torn graybeard—
wears the symbol. After orange flames
burst through those twin towers and
blasted thousands of lives
the orange ribbons tie a town
Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, author of Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, and Welcome, Babies as well as editor of Labyrinth: Poems & Prose. She has been published widely in print and online journals and anthologies.