Some are blonde. Some are brunette. Some are redheads.
Some have braces. A few have freckles.
The parents stand on street corners. They organize search teams. They implore complete strangers: Please, please.
Self wrote “All the Missing” before she discovered Galway Kinnell’s 9/11 poem, When the Towers Fell (just this year) but it’s almost uncanny, the similarities between her scene and Kinnell’s. No, this does not mean she’s putting herself on the same level as Kinnell. But it does mean that sometimes writers in different parts of the world stumble on the same cultural pulse, working off pure intuition! Pay close attention, dear blog readers: you will see this happening over and over again.
In Kinnell’s poem (which is one of his longest), people stand on New York City street corners, holding up pictures of their loved ones, asking “Have you seen _____ my child/my husband/my wife/my brother/ my sister/ my friend?” And people can’t look them in the face. Passersby sweep past them, muttering, “Sorry, sorry.”
And here’s a site that references poets who’ve written about 9/11.
“All the Missing” appeared in Phoebe 41.1 (Spring 2012)