August 17, 2005

I Don't Want to Know

Poetry is not my forte. Actually, I’m not sure what my forte is; perhaps remembering ~ or writing about remembering. In any case, on rare occasion, I’m struck with vivid recall that comes to me in rhythmic patterns ~ so I grab a pen or a keyboard and try to get it into writing. If it happens to end up in poetic form, so be it.

The following were some thoughts that crossed my mind the other day as I stumbled upon a photo of my dear childhood friend, Annie. She was not an extraordinary person ~ which makes her extraordinary death so tragically ironic. She was like me, like you, and like the thousands of others who went off to work one day assuming they would live and breathe for years to come.

I Don’t Want To Know

What did she think as she rolled out of bed
What thoughts were consuming her pretty head
Did she dwell on her workload, or on that night’s meal
Would she whip up a salad, or noodles with veal

What was she thinking; the breeze in her hair
As she traveled to work with nary a care
Did she think about laundry or missing the boat
Did she dwell on some problems ~ however remote

What was she thinking that September morn
While she trod to her job up the path ~ so well worn
Was she planning for lunch to go sit in the park
Was she hoping to get home long before dark

As she sat at her desk on the ninetieth floor
Was she sipping her coffee when came the loud roar
Did she hear it arriving or not till it hit
Was she worried at all that this could be “it”

What did she think while her tower tossed wildly
Did she panic or plan her escape, kind of mildly
I know that she met with some friends to discuss
The best way to leave without too much fuss

What did she say to her mom on the phone
While she still believed fully that she’d return home
I know she assured her that all was okay;
That she’d tell her much more at the end of the day

What did she think as she chose not to leave
As the others walked down - as was wise - they believed
Was she hoping to seek out the one left behind
Or wishing this was but a dream in her mind

Maybe she spotted her purse the last minute
And stopped at her desk to just grab something in it
Maybe she thought it was safer right there
As she looked out her window and saw the black air

What did she think as the plane hit her tower
“Could this really be my last living hour?”
Maybe she didn’t think much thought at all
As she scrambled and faltered and held to a wall

Did she smell things and see things that no one should see
Did she pray really hard to the powers that be
Was she frightened or calm in that New York second
Or did she go bravely as her heaven beckoned

I know I’ve been asking but now I’ll confess
I don’t want to know what she thought in distress
I don’t want to feel the great anguish inside
I don’t want to know how it felt as she died

In loving memory of

Anne Marie Martino Cramer

March 30, 1954

Aged 47 Years


September 11, 2001

(For anyone interested in reading a rather lengthy but complete story regarding our childhood friendship and more details of the events that swept Anne from her family and friends, see this post: )


Blogger Wicked H said...

I am very sorry for your loss. For everyones that day.....

10:02 AM  
Blogger Sask 1 said...

Im so sorry for the loss of your friend.That poem was so sad it made me cry.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Grant said...

I'm glad you know to strike (the keyboard) when the iron is hot. My problem is I scare myself into finding excuses not to write when the ideas are fresh. Keep it up. Blog more. I command you.

11:06 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh, God, Carol, I am so sorry. That was a beautiful poem and very moving. Thank you for sharing it with us. I will read your post about Annie later, when I am in good need of a catharsis. I only have 5 minutes of my break left and sobbing hysterically at work tends to freak out the co-workers.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

What a wonderful poem to remember your friend. Reading it makes us never forget her or the others. I am so sorry for your loss!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very very moving, and honest. Wonderfully written.

1:03 PM  
Blogger dan said...

That must have taken some getting out Carol.

It's the most heavy duty thing I've ever read on a blog with regards to that dreadful day.

It certainly churns up emotions and I'm thousands of miles away and don't really know you.

Take care.

1:42 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

A loving tribute to your wonderful friend, Carol. Please share it with her family, as I think it will touch them.

1:53 PM  
Blogger annush said...

that was very moving...i am sorry about the loss of your friend.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Wonderful post Carol. So sorry about your friend. 9-11 was an evil deed, those responsible will pay the price I believe.

5:28 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

Oh what a moving poem and tribute to your friend! It's beautiful and haunting. So many questions (better) left unanswered. So sorry that this happened to your friend and to all of the others.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

What a lovely way to memorialize your friend, Annie.

You should send that poem to Reader's Digest, or someother publication. With the anniversary of 9/11 on the horizon, that poem would touch a lot of people.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

wow...right before i opened your blog I printed my blog post Requiem for a Heavyweight on the computer for a friend, My post eulogizes one of my clients. you parleyed the sadness. GREAT GREAT POEM.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Floridacracker said...

Very sad, very moving, very heartfelt and VERY well written. Take care.

8:58 PM  
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9:24 PM  
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9:52 PM  
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9:59 PM  
Blogger Rob Seifert said...

The tragedy of that day should never be forgotten. I too shudder to think of what some of those people endured in their last minutes. Your poem, like so much of what you write, is moving and personal in a way that is uncommon in that your wealth of experience shines through it like a beacon helping us younger, more distracted types to see our way.


1:38 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Carol you truly know how to write a very moving tribute. This was just so beautiful :)

2:51 AM  
Blogger Karl Childers said...

Simply moving. True empathy at its best...

3:29 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...


This is moving and I am sorry for your loss. You write beautifully, even if the subject is so hard.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Swifty said...

I remember you speaking of her so fondly Carol. It's very touching, so sad.

I have to admire your courage in publishing poetry, especially concerning such a delicate and personal topic. I did something similar once (although it was of a personal and self-indulgent nature) but as an inveterate coward, I deleted it after a couple of days. So I say Bravo to you.

On a "technical" note (listen to me trying to sound knowledgeable) I was impressed by being intrigued with the title "I don't want to know". You kept the reader waiting until the final lines before it's meaning was revealed. Godammit Carol, now you're a poet as well!

6:34 AM  
Blogger Santanu said...

Very moving, Carol. And the last stanza is so true.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

I was touched by the poem and the sentiments found in its words.

I am sorry for your personal loss.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Lyvvie said...

You are just a wonderful, super-awesome and delightful friend.

What an zamazing epitaph. She'll be loving you from afar on high, and laughing.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous SilverMoon said...

Phooey that you don't write poetry!!
This is lyrical, moving poetry from your heart to the paper (screen). I can imagine her at work; I feel the momentum of her day, building- that rhythm you speak of that propels you to sometimes write this way.

I feel for you about your childhood friend. I live in one of those 9-11 areas; it'll never be the same plus 3 of us are Sept. birthdays so it's very hard to be joyful while we still remmember the tragedies so vividly.

I'm so sorry abou your young friend. Her eyes glisten with friendliness. Very moving piece.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

They peotry was nice but your loss is so tragic. I can understand how it feels to loose a friend, I can't understand the whys.
Have a nice weekend

1:43 AM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

Wow Carol, you really have a gift. I once wrote a poem for a dear departed friend and can empathize with you just how hard it is. You are a sweet person and an impressive writer. Thank you for that little peek at your soul! ;}

2:22 AM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

More poetry! That was so good. It would take me 10 years to write something like that.

A sweet epitaph to a friend, from one of the sweetest people I've never met. Thanks Carol.

12:37 PM  
Blogger katie said...

That was amazing. I am so sorry for your loss.

You are so very talented.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops! Sorry. Wrong blog. I knew I should have taken a left 'toin' at Albequrque. It's the Cheery Wag I want.

9:36 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

I am really sorry for your loss. You have written a very beautiful piece. Anne must be proudly smiling at you from where she is.
And poetry is your forte TOO, dear Carol!

10:30 AM  
Blogger midwest_hick said...

Very nice poem...and sorry for the loss of your friend.

10:36 AM  
Blogger NYCbeauty said...

I literally have chills all up and down my body. You write beautifully. I have toyed with posting some of my poetry. Not sure if it's my forte either, but your friend certainly inspired some amazing words to come out of you. I am so sorry for your loss. As the poem unraveled and I realized it was about the Towers, I was so struck. You did what writers strive for.....that catch in the throat when the crux is reached.

On a different note, I am really back for good now. I'll email you about the craziness that seems to have followed me around this summer. This time, health prob's and a car accident. Grrrrr. I'm rusty but glad to be writing. I MISS YOU.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Alisa said...

What a tragic a moment in time for you, your friends, your family and your friends families.

6:31 AM  
Blogger frustratedwriter said...

Thank you for sharing that and for reminding us of how tragic 911 was for so many people. What a touching tribute.

2:54 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

Thanks for sharing that. I'm sorry for the needless loss of your friend..

10:22 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Very well written. I was very moved.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Atul Sabnis said...

Poetry isn't anyone's forte. Expression, probably is. Very few are able to express - whether in words, pictures, music or anyother form.

You do more than justice to your thoughts and feelings. Form is just a medium.

Keep it coming.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Hick said...

What a wonderful tribute. I'm sorry for your loss.

10:59 AM  
Blogger jon said...

I liked that alot. It's a hard subject for me to really think about for too long, and I didn't personally know any of the victims.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh Carol...for once I actually don't know what to say.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

6:56 AM  
Blogger DLAK said...

I didnt read the post or any of the comments. I wish I had some cake frosting. Do you enjoy cake frosting?

7:45 AM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...

Carol, nice to hear from you again. How goes the fishing? Nice poem. Loss is always hard. I am always amazed at how you write. Wish I had such a gift. Please continue for all of us not so blessed. It does help us relate. As for the bird, I think someone said it was a Yellow Finch. Go figure. At least it wasn't a yellow bellied sap sucker.

8:27 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

First close up pic! Is it you in the pic? You look VERY VERY young and pretty!!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Hot new pic! Neither weary nor haglike.

1:46 PM  
Blogger mlwhitt said...

Sorry for your loss, and it is so honorable what you posted in her regard.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

Well done on the poem. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, and your friend's loss.
The way you described her going about, doing and thinking things, it was so vivid. And it showed us how you have thought about her, and your pain to think of her in that terrible place.
Great poem. Good on you. Thankyou for sharing it.

8:03 AM  
Blogger L said...

I'm sorry about your loss; it's always very difficult to lose a close friend or family member

12:05 AM  

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