It was the second week of September, 2001 and I was taking a creative writing course at the University of Central Oklahoma. Our poetry assignment was due the following week. One of the requirements was to write a poem in the form of haiku, the smallest literary form with ironically, the most rules attached to it.

Poetry had always come easy for me, and for those that knew me in my earlier writing years, I typically wrote double page-long epics. I was embarking on foreign territory here. How in the world was I going to write something profound using only 17 syllables, in three lines, in 5-7-5 sequence?

The free form-poet-hippy in me scoffed at the idea of caging creativity with such
restricted requirements! However, the over-achiever-competitor drove me to not only attempt, but to also achieve success with the highest marks.

I pondered my subject of haiku for about a day. Something light? Nature perhaps? Everyone loves nature. Robert Frost was a genius when writing on the subject of nature...

And then the morning of September 11, 2001 came. And it went. Although it never really passed like some bad days seem to eventually fade. No, it just took up residence in my soul and settled with an unwelcome thud.

September 12, 2001. I was working, but not really. No one really was or could for that matter. We were all plagued with thoughts of the jagged rip torn in America's once colorful canvas. It was now just all very, very grey.

Sitting at my desk distracted from my database entry duties, my haiku quietly erupted onto my Word document. My blinking cursor no longer blinking, just ferociously moving across the screen and then coming to an abrupt and final halt a few moments later.

"Dusty corpses tell
the story with muted lips;
Hunter is hunted."

It wasn't pretty, and it probably wasn't profound, but it was the truth. It was only one writer's feeble attempt to describe that unforgettable Tuesday.

About six years prior in April 1995, at the age of 15, this same writer had also made an attempt to describe the devastation that had occurred in Oklahoma City. Somehow, strangely, my teenage prose had ended on a hopeful and victorious note. I suppose that was the less jaded version of me writing at the time...

Needless to say, I got the "A" on my haiku assignment. Sitting there in it's fresh red ink, the "A" sighed a little I think. I expected to feel a sense of achievement for my work. Instead, my little haiku felt like a big, fat, "F." I guess the whole world flunked that day. Unfortunately, this time, there were no make-ups or room for extra credit.

Originally "published" on 9/11/06. Republished with permission from Rikki's old Myspace blog.