On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 took off from John F. Kennedy Airport en route to Rome via Paris and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean over Long Island en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800. All 230 passengers and crew members on board died in the disaster, which the National Transportation Safety Board concluded had probably resulted from a fuel tank explosion caused by faulty wiring.
Mary Jo Salter remembers the tragedy in “TWA 800,” collected in her Open Shutters and A Phone Call to the Future. In this brief poem Salter recalls that, months after the accident, friends of hers in France got a postcard from her that had ended up on the flight. “Sea-soaked but intact,” the card was fully legible: “Shipped in a padded bag, with a letter / from the U.S. Postal Service (‘apologies / for any inconvenience caused / by the accident’).”
To read the entire poem “TWA 800,” go to the Amazon listing for A Phone Call to the Future and use the “Search Inside” tool to search for “TWA 800.”
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.