Before the scaffolding came down,
workmen straddled the skyscraper.
Fearless artists with rags, sprays,
and squeegees. Masterpiece restorers
erasing the amateur touch-up
from the surface of a painting
found in an old farmer's attic,
revealing an Eakins or Grandma Moses
under the grime, construction dust,
smoke from factories carried by wind
and rain across the harbor.
Each pane of glass transformed
into a crystal reflecting sunlight
off the river's tides.
Before the Towers came down,
the window washers
could not imagine
their workmanship would enable
the pilots to pinpoint their targets.
Expose the office workers
behind the casements
to their approaching death,
from both sides of the glass.
They could only watch
their artistry descend,