He Chose His Life Instead of Mine

He Chose His Life Instead of Mine

A Poem by Arizona Sky

A 9/11 poem. May one man live rather than two men die.


The first I heard

Where the screams like dying birds

Some sustained and others ending

Retreat! Go down! The men and women yelled


Fire blazed, licking at our souls

Ashen tears fell from faces

Women ran with babe in arms

Oh please let them survive me


Out the window, as we ran

Whipped the too calm river

Rippling from a giant's breath

Morose reflecting on its water


Just as fast as smoke appeared

My vision began to falter

Lungs followed suit soon after

Collapsing, falling like a Jacob's Ladder


Then at last and final moment

Thought first as fire's flame

Came the light of the outside

Like honey on one's tongue


Rejoicing tears mixed with sorrow

Filled and drowned out faces

Just keep running and you can live

Forget the burnt, lost fingers


Hasten pace, it's creaking now

The twins about to fall

Crashing, breaking screaming war

I'm down - my voice is lost


A single face, a torn expression

Fought the horrid fire's tongue

Follow me, he seemed to yell

But I had lost, smoke had won


I saw him take one last glance

At me and then the towers

He turned and took off towards the light

Not before he bid goodbye


I felt no anger, nor no hate

For the man who had to run

He chose his life instead of mine

No devil in his heart or mind


The twins, my life had fell

And all I could think was

God, don't send that man to Hell...

© 2011 Arizona Sky

Author's Note

Arizona Sky
Well after Osama Bin Laden died we learned a bit more about 9/11. I'm around that age where I was alive when it happened, but don't remember it clearly. All I remember is being there about six weeks before the incident...
We had to write a free verse poem about 9/11 for school and this is what I came up with...

My Review

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Wow. I remember that morning. I remember the shock of watching it on TV from across America, and wondering what it meant, what would happen to our country. I'm ashamed to say that the human impact - the pain and fear and loss of life only dawned on me gradually, I guess it was an emotional defense. I'm the kind of person who cries when someone else gets hurt, but it was too much to take in at once...but you have captured it, part of it, the human part. We are only human, and not everything is clear-cut in a survival situation like that. I love the ending. Love it. Forgiveness amidst shared tragedy. Beautiful.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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well you certainly nailed that assignment - you took a head on approach - the horrors and screams - the sights - the fear - and then that so very poignant ending - to just hope the man doesn't go to hell - that man could be so many of us - who could really say what they'd do in such a situation!! great write Arizona!! I like!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Grotesque imagery
Makes one feel as if they are there
Provokes raw emotion
And a final line that is bold, harrowing, and controversial
Sounds like a damn good poem...

Posted 13 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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3 Reviews
Added on May 19, 2011
Last Updated on May 19, 2011
Tags: 9/11, nine-eleven, death, run, twin towers, falling


Arizona Sky
Arizona Sky

I'm a young teen very inspired by great authors, musicians and artists of any and all kinds. My brother inspired me to begin to write real stories (short stories) when he wrote a wonderful paper in .. more..


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