Crash Of United Flight 811 - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
There suddenly, a great big gap
the fuselage flew off the map
the captain fought to keep control
flight engineer had just one role
to go assess the damage now
he rushed downstairs to find out how
the crew were coping with the mess
and felt the turbulence, no less
than what you would expect to find
he fell and slid, and in his mind
he saw himself go through the door
to fly away and live no more.
A flight attendant grabbed his shirt
much earlier she'd been a flirt
they got him to unsteady feet
Hawaiian suntan, white as sheet.
Nine passengers had been the cost
depressurised, their lives were lost.
And sitting by the cargo hold
the suction took them to the cold
of thirty thousand feet, oh shit
into the engines, that was it.
Death would be instant, so they say
no time to wonder or to pray
it beats a quarter million seconds
it takes four minutes, captain reckons
to reach the oceans near Hawaii
in any case it is good bye.
His name was Tom, his parents stood
inside the terminal, they would
surprise him with a late night snack
all pre-arranged inside the black
and cozy Auckland Oyster Bar.
He would come home, a real star
had passed the hardest test of all
at Harvard, finished in the Fall
and was a full-fledged Engineer
who had designed new landing gear
for DC Tens, four hundred seats
to ease the force when metal meets
the tarmac at full landing speed
he'd solved a problem there indeed
and in the case of a disaster
his tac would get the gear down faster.
But sadly, it was not to be
he would not land nor would he see
his loved ones or his homeland ground
inspite of all he's never found.
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