One Fate

May 6, 2008
By Claire Foster, Hinsdale, IL

The middle of nowhere,
the lights flicker,
you hear the crash and scraping
of heavy metal.
Panic.
“All on deck! All on deck!”

The screams, the trauma.
“Women and children first.”
“First class only!”
Waiting…
one hour… two hours.
“First class men!”
You get on a life boat.

Paddling away, you watch,
stern first, the curdles of helpless voices
scream as the boat falls in.
People are stranded; their fate has found them,
but what can you do?

Fireworks go off,
people ooh and ahh,
not realizing
that these fireworks are not for their enjoyment.
You hear the screams from the lower deck,
from people, drowning, in the unwelcoming water.

No rescue boat to be seen,
while people jump from the boat,
into the frigid water.

Though I see no faces now,
I carry the weight of their lifeless bodies
along with me daily.
One boat.
One iceberg.
One fate.


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