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Azucena De La Torre
World Trade Center, New York City, NY
Employer: Cantor Fitzgerald

New York, NY 
Age: 50

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Roxanne Hoffman

REMEMBRANCE (of Azucena de la Torre)

After the storm,
strewn twigs zigzag
the orderly grid of brick-tiled path
I ramble.

The air, crisp as the New Mac apple I snack on,
whisks dozens of rumpled leaves against my denim
legs like the remnants of discarded rags.

Turning,
to avoid this tiny cyclone rising,
brim pulled down to shelter squinting eyes,
past pigeons strolling by in pairs ‘cross gravel,
feathers fluffed ‘ n fluttering.
I crunch leaves, snap twigs, grate grit,
making mulch underfoot with steady strides,
until halted by a large lucite teardrop.

Sun-kissed contours soaring before a low slung sky,
project Mile Square’s loss on one city’s
park scape and another’s skyline.
Its unanswered roll-call
recalls a clear crisp cloudless September day, interrupted,
and just how easily we snap like twigs in a storm.

My eyes rubbed red still stinging
as a trio of merry cyclers encircles the tear,
cheerily chiming, before gliding on,
releaseing a friend’s forgotten face,
spotted by chance in the morning’s crunch
a week before highjacked jets struck,
stifling lunch and life plans.

A rustling sway of once sparse saplings
spreads shade’s cool comfort on our backs.
We continue our separate paths crunching leaves
underfoot in unison.

Roxanne Hoffman
Hoboken, NJ
September 2004
Friend and Former Co-Worker