Sunday, 13 January 2019

That Was the MUSE That Was


The geese fly high above the Hudson,
the planes fly higher yet,
and very seldom meet, for what
has bird to do with jet?

In January 2009
a plane was scheduled to fly
to Charlotte, North Carolina
from La Guardia, NY.

And now the gate is being called,
now boarding is complete,
and Chesley Sullenburger III
sits in the captain’s seat.

And passengers and crew give thanks
when they kneel down to pray,
that Chesley Sullenburger III
was aboard the plane that day.

For only seconds after take-off,
they hit a flock of geese.
Three thousand feet up in the air,
both of the engines cease.

He said “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!”
We’ve both our engines gone.
I don’t think we can reach the airport,
and we can’t stay up for long.”

They cleared a runway at La Guardia
and at Tetboro too,
but there was no time left to reach them,
as Captain Sully knew.

He weighed the risks and made his choice,
he didn’t freeze or quiver,
but told them in a calm clear voice
“We’re ditching in the river.”

And in the back the cabin crew
were shouting “Brace! Brace! Brace!”
while the captain made his final approach
with a firm and fearless face.

And while the airport staff were asking
just what the hell was going on,
the Airbus A320
was landing like a swan.

© Thomas Tyrrell

Thomas Tyrrell has a PhD in English Literature from Cardiff University. He is a two-time winner of the Terry Hetherington poetry award, and his writing has appeared in Picaroon, Amaryllis, Wales Arts Review, Spectral Realms, Lonesome October, The Road Less Travelled, Three Drops From A Cauldron and Words for the Wild.