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New Yorker, Poet Nancy Mercado Reads ‘Going to Work’

After the attacks of September 11th, New Yorker and poet, Nany Mercado, felt compelled to write about what she lost when the World Trade Center Towers came down. Mercado reads her poem, "Going to Work." It was included in "Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets."

Read the Full Transcript

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    I'm a New Yorker. As a teenager, I watched the Twin Towers being built. In the tough economic times of the late '70s, I strolled the World Trade Center food court and the underground shopping mall on my way to sign for an unemployment check.

    I've covered news conferences in Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the North Tower. It was hard to believe such enormous, solid, seemingly permanent buildings, could collapse. To this day, I feel their absence whenever I approach the city from Brooklyn or New Jersey.

    Poet Nancy Mercado, a fellow New Yorker, felt compelled to write about what she lost when the towers came down.

  • NANCY MERCADO, poet:

    "Going to work."

    On their daily trips

    Commuters shed tears now

    Use American flags

    Like veiled women

    To hide their sorrows

    Rush to buy throwaway cameras

    To capture your twin ghosts

    Frantically I too

    Purchase your memory

    On postcards & coffee mugs

    In New York City souvenir shops

    Afraid I'll forget your facade

    Forget my hallowed Sunday

    Morning PATH Train rides

    My subway travels through

    The center of your belly

    Day after day

    Afraid I'll forget your powers

    To transform helicopters

    Into ladybugs gliding in the air

    To turn New York City

    Into a breathing map

    To display the curvature

    Of our world

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