Not all Heroes Cried


Rescue team hunts through the steel wreckage for survivors.

Not all Heroes Cried

Flying across fields of rebar
as if they were fields of grass,
no concern for the deep black holes
of torn metal, wood and glass.

Where rescuers could not attempt,
our heroes mounted without trouble,
exceeding expectations
in deposits of baking rubble.

When they came upon a scent,
they scurried in significant rush.
Steadfastly they worked for reward ―
toys or water bottles to crush.

Comforting and making people laugh,
they were loving and most giving.
Their biggest reward, was to locate souls:
so they could play with the living.

Not all heroes cried,
they just didn’t wag their tails,
their noses and their hearts
soothing the pain of those not lost.

They came to find the living,
but living were not there.

Three dead bodies in half an hour
“Get the body bag.”

Twenty pieces of DNA
“Get the ice cooler.”

In their search, each one was grey ―
the Big Mutts and the Small.
Jumping on heaps of melted steel
toward endlessness they did crawl.

Their bloody paws were bandaged up,
eyes and noses filled with grunge,
exposed to toxic materials which
were washed with hose and sponge.

They were there for all the rescuers,
more loving than partners and peers.
Some played fetch to help others relax.
They soothed those with heavy tears.

Thunder, and Storm were just as dry
As Porkchop, Jax and Servus.
The rescuers gave away their drinks,
before quenching their own thirsts.

Not all heroes cried,
they just didn’t wag their tails,
their noses and their hearts
soothing the pain of those not lost.

They came to find the living,
but living were not there.

Three dead bodies in half an hour
“Get the body bag.”

Twenty pieces of DNA
“Get the ice cooler.”

Tascha ceaselessly gave her all
‘til overcome by heat and smoke.
Bretagne managed to take a snooze
so she wouldn’t have a stroke.

Billy calmed himself right down,
traversing treacherous terrains.
Wolf, Bear, Eagle, and Trackr
lived up to their doggie names.

Dorado, Roselle, Salty, Max, Wuss
all made it out alive.
Kaiser choked on hazardous soot
when, into debris, he took a dive.

Sunny Boy stayed on task
although it was so dreary.
Woody, Jake, and Hoke,
found no one, then got leary.

Not all heroes cried,
they just didn’t wag their tails,
their noses and their hearts
soothing the pain of those not lost.

They came to find the living,
but living were not there.

Three dead bodies in half an hour
“Get the body bag.”

Twenty pieces of DNA
“Get the ice cooler.”

There are stories about Cowboy and Red,
Or about Thunder, if you prefer.
Dusty arrived there clean in heart,
but left with contaminated fur.

They came in many sizes.
They came from any breed.
Abbey, Thea, Jena, Sue, Ivey, Mika
were all good girls indeed.

Riley, Willow, Cody, Hawk ―
each one was some kind of hero.
Moxie, Tara, Guinness, Merlyn
or Gus, Cowboy, Sirus, or Apollo.

Two sets of list must exist,
a short one for those who came out,
a longer one for those who searched,
although doing it with doubt.

Not all heroes cried,
they just didn’t wag their tails,
their noses and their hearts
soothing the pain of those not lost.

They came to find the living,
but living were not there.

Three dead bodies in half an hour
“Get the body bag.”

Twenty pieces of DNA
“Get the ice cooler.”

************************

The other day  @NannersMom asked me to write a 9-11 poem about the dogs who were involved in the the 9-11 tragedy. It took research, and also a lot of tears. It was not easy to get away from the emotions, and get to writing it. But I did it. Yay.

Then  @RaneeDillon was kind enough to edit it for me, so I could get it posted. Once she put her hands on it, it just started flowing so nicely. Wow.

Pciture credit:  http://www.easyvegan.info/2007/09/11/remembering-the-non-human-heroes-of-9-11/  (it’s a FEMA picture)

Also on:

 D’verse Poets

Challenge by Mark Kerstetter

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on September 10, 2011, in Animal, D’verse Poets Pub, Dogs, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. I think you do a great job of not crossing the line into too much sentimentality here and honor what you speak of, drawing me in to do so too.

  2. A truly heartfelt look at the heroes we don’t often see. It brought me tears, sweetie. *Heart Hugs*

  3. I definitely did not anticipate a poem like this and I’m pleasantly surprised. I like the refrain and these lines touched me most:

    Their biggest reward, was to locate souls:
    so they could play with the living.

    Brava on researching for this!

    • Thank you. If you saw my links, you’d see I’m big in the Animal Rights community on social media, especially dogs. A woman from Montreal asked me to write this earlier this week. I didn’t get to start on it till yesterday. This means a lot ot me. I’m a New Yorker, I do emergency rescue, and I love dogs.

  4. your refrain is very strong…you did really well with this and bringing the heroes, often unsung to the forefront….

  5. Thank you for reminding me of the dogs. Being caught up with thd images on TV in remembering the people, I lost sight of the dogs. Bravo for bringing it to the forefront for me. Thank you for reminding us to remember the souls whos only purpose in their lives is to love us. Just brings a tear.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this poem! I knew I was asking the right person for such a task. I knew you would honor the work of our four legged heroes. You are a talented writer and I am humbled by the fact that you did take my request and wrote this for the pups:) <3

    • I thank you for asking me. It’s hard for me to write about dogs. It’s too emotional. You made me brave.

      • my friend I just read your comment on the blog. I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of so many innocent lives. Now I understand what you meant that my simple request made you brave. I am humbled by your courage and love. You are an amazing human being that I am proud to call my friend <3

  7. As a former New Yorker and a dog owner, this story touched me. Thinking of the four legged heroes, the unsung heroes finally got their due!

    • Thanks so much for putting the comment in. As New Yorker (I may not live there, but my heart is there) and big dog lover, and rescue person, this was so hard to write. I’m glad it touched you so much.

  8. An intelligent poem, hey, dogs are heroes too and loved, so loved by their owners, thanks for spinning their tail

  9. Fabulous. The dogs are true heroes, much more than mere tools in a time of tragedy. Thank you for the smiles in darker times.

    Beth

  10. i much like this…the silent heroes no one is talking about and they were doing such a fabulous job…always amazed at how clever and helpful dogs are

  11. This could be a song. Would love to hear this put to music.

  12. a strong picture of reality ~ 4 legged heroes ~ ty for singing their praises ~ wonderful ~ Lib

  13. A new and creative dimension to this fateful day… Thank you for sharing their brave hearts and love.

    The refraining lines worked so well.

  14. This day was so hard and the stories that followed in the weeks and years after were hard to see and hear. I stood on the islands of Tahiti watching this on our TV translated to French so we all could understand what impact this had on the world. This is one day the entire world saw and will never forget

    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/09/11/the-sorrow-of-our-times/

  15. It’s a wonderful poem, thanks for sharing it with us. I mentioned and quoted you on my blog.

  16. A wonderful and surprising poem with a lovely message, I really appreciated the sentiment behind the well crafted words.

  17. Enjoyed this, something unexpected and an excellent tribute to this group of heroes.

  18. I knew it’d be that good…..Thankyou for telling their story…….. appreciation from Wuf, Justice, Bert, Buckley, Booford, Manfred, Duchess, Cali, and me…..

  19. This was wonderful, very well written tribute to our four-legged heroes of 9-11. Dogs are just so awesome in how selfless they are. “Not all heroes cried, they just didn’t wag their tails.” This line brought tears to my eyes. Peace, Linda

  20. Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute to our canine heros. We train them to find the living, to find the dead. We train them to give comfort to those who work in horrific situations, to those who have lost their families, their loved ones. And without words they do as we ask only to come back to us the ones who train them & ask them to do so much. All they want is our love. And thank you Lily for knowing just who to ask for this wonderful poem.

  21. Strong poem with a powerful meaning. Professionally written.

    Here is my entry
    http://jackedwardspoetry.blogspot.com/2011/09/rose.html

  22. you di a fabulous job here i must admit zongrik! my potluck.. http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/summer-wind/

  23. Oh, the real helpers by nose. Amazing. Well Done. Heroes and writer.

  24. thanks for sharing such a beautiful tribute poem :)

  25. I am so very moved by this poem. It was different than all other 9/11 poems I read this year. You approached the subject in a neat way. Intense, reflective, respectful, sharing what it really must have been like for those RIGHT there right after.

    • Thank you. I really can’t imagine what it was like, but I am a New Yorker, I saw the wreckage in 2002 and 2003, i do emergency rescue volunteer, love my dogs and one dog is a therapy dog. So, I guess, somehow, all those things together give me some higher level of empathy.

  26. Thank you for writing this. I am a New Yorker (Long Islander really) and a dog-lover so this hit home. I cannot even imagine being at the scene. Dogs have the biggest hearts and you’ve expressed that beautifully. Such a moving poem. Keep writing. :)

  27. I am so glad someone wrote a poem about these 9/11 heroes. They may not have cried, but they felt the heavy sorrow and the trauma of what had occurred, this I know. This really pulls at the heartstrings and makes one think – great job! Dogs have the most selfless hearts on the planet.

  28. Beautifully written. I love your style :)

  29. A tale that needed telling, and I like the ballad feel you have given it with rhyme and refrain.

  30. Thank you both for writing this and for pointing me to it … 9/11 is a tragedy that continues to haunt and fascinate me (as I’m sure it does many) and I am continually amazed at the heroes that go un-noticed or un-named – for me, it has been up until now, these animals. Considering how much I love dogs and how aware I am of their use in search and rescue in my own country’s police departments, it surprises me that this aspect has never occurred to me before now. Maybe it was hard fact too many until now … thanks again for your wonderful work. Thanks also for visiting my site and commenting on my work – I truly appreciate it. S.E.Ingraham

  1. Pingback: encore presentation: 2012 featured poets ~ zongrik | my heart's love songs

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