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Poet offers 'Reflections of 9/11'

Kent Ricker holds a printed copy Wednesday of his original poem entitled “After the Evanescing Reflection of 9/11” at Riverfront Park. Ricker wrote the poem as a tribute to 9/11.

Kent Ricker holds a printed copy Wednesday of his original poem entitled “After the Evanescing Reflection of 9/11” at Riverfront Park. Ricker wrote the poem as a tribute to 9/11.

ALBANY -- K.H. (Kent) Ricker's been an on-again, off-again poet since he was 13. It was a couple of years ago that he returned his focus to the craft he loves.

Ricker's reacquaintance with poetry coincided with what he saw as a growing indifference toward the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania in particular, and significant recent historical events in general.

So he responded the best way he knew how -- with a poem about the significance of that fateful day. Ricker's work -- "After the Evanescing: Reflections of 9/11" -- is currently on display at a local business, and it will be part of American Legion Post 30's 10-year 9/11 tribute planned for Saturday.

Click here to read the poem.

"There have been a lot of wildly sentimental and very dark poems written about 9/11, but that's not what I wanted to do," Ricker, a medical surgical nurse at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said. "I wanted to do a reflective piece, a poem that would register with this generation's remembrance of this significant event in our history and examine the healing process we went through."

The local poet said the 70-line poem came to him in "bits and pieces" as he worked on "After the Evanescence: Reflections of 9/11" over a three-week to monthlong period. In addition to the terrorist attacks, the poem addresses other landmark events in American history.

"We all remember where we were on 9/11, when Challenger blew up, when JFK was shot, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor," Ricker, the father of two sons, said. "I wanted this generation to understand the significance of this event.

"I didn't have friends who died in the terrorist attacks, but I had friends of friends who did. There just seemed to be a general sense of a lack of remembrance in our country. I wanted to address that."

A copy of "After the Evanescence" is on display at Hadden's Flowers & Gifts at 2401 Westgate Drive. Ricker said he would also like to present a copy of the poem to leaders at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.