When I was a small boy,
I saw Mary Martin fly in the sky
As Peter Pan on my family's
New black and white television.
Later that night,
I stood on the edge of my bed and jumped
Waiting for Tinkerbell's magic pixy dust
To make me fly around the room
Like the lucky boys and girls who got to
Go to Never-Never Land.
When I was 54,
I watched in utter horror as men and women
Flew off of the burning tower
Of the World Trade Center
Only to Have their bodies and souls
Smashed on the concrete city
Oh, Tinkerbell, where is the magic dust
To bless these Holy Innocents
And free Their souls to fly to paradise.
The men who stole those planes
And turned them into missiles of death
Believed they would be rewarded in paradise.
Do I hear the Angels weeping
As they gather the lives lost to the insanity
Of faith sacrificed to the demons of history?
“There is a Balm in Gilead to heal the wounded soul.”
The old hymn, heard as a child who wondered
“Where is Gilead,” comes back to me now
One among a world of wounded souls
As I imagine Jesus and Mohammed
In a sorrowful embrace-
Their Holy Hearts bleeding
Over what their followers
Do in their name