“It Was Raining People”


Background: Voices on NPR radio broke as victims tremblingly told their stories from the World Trade Center on September 11 in 2001. One interviewee said, “It was raining people.”

The flames disrobed without remorse
Smoke signals told heaven that hell had found a home
It was raining people

While tens of thousands scrambled out, hundreds marched in
Neckties and high heels flooded out for escape
Helmets and steel-toed boots fought the human tide for rescue
The air drowning in dust
The ground sprouting fields of broken glass
It was raining people

The smoke scowled through a satanic mask
Helicopters orbited helplessly unable to reach the rooftops
The sun slumbered mutely behind the gray billowing curtain
Inside the wheelchairbound wished fervently for able limbs
Cell phones arced across the miles like brittle grappling hooks
The entrapped asked for widows and children to be watched over
It was raining people

The rescuers rushed in and up giving their last full measure of devotion
Father Mike knelt in the wreckage to pray for a fallen firefighter
“Amen” came abruptly as Father Mike fell too
A plummeting victim splashed thunderously upon his last rites
It was raining people

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About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in communication, culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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