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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Shortly After Takeoff

I saw this photo today, you know,
Of the crash. I thought l could see a face
In the flames, looking right back at me.
One last look before the smoke smothered it.

I heard a woman on the radio today,
She’d known one of them, l forget which.
She choked on her words, tears, l think,
Then a pop song was played.

Do you remember those photos of Concorde,
The ones with the flames? Engine fault wasn’t it,
Or maybe it hit something on the runway?
I remember reading that or something like it.

Was a good photo though, you know.
Really striking. Memorable.

© Scott Devon

Seven British tourists killed in Nepal plane crash

Scott is head of neo:writers, and run the international neo:poetryprize. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from MMU, and has been published in the UK and America.


  1. I don't know if it was deliberate, but there's a callousness about the speaker's lack of memory here that's really chilling, combined with the appreciation of the photo.

  2. Yes, l was hoping that would come across. I think my main aim with this piece was to show how short term our empathy can be. How a tragedy so quickly becomes old news or simply forgotten.

    1. Love it!

      I first read it and thought ( for a moment only )how true that we recall little of other peoples sadness.

    2. I totally agree, John. Thank you for your comments.

  3. You caught that short-attention-span lack of compassion really, really well. Not enough poems use understatement.

    1. Yes, l wanted to avoud trying to a typical description poem, the plane fell like a ... or the wreckage was like a ...., etc. I think unless your images are supremly good you can't do this kind of event justice. And l wanted to really humanise it.